Gerry Adams hails Queen's message

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams today praised the Queen's "sincere expression of sympathy" for those affected by conflict between Britain and Ireland.

Mr Adams, a member of the Irish Parliament, spoke as the Queen comes to the end of her four-day state visit to Ireland during which she toured Croke Park, laid a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance and spoke movingly at a Dublin Castle banquet.

She offered her "sincere thoughts and deep sympathy" to the victims of Ireland and the UK's troubled past, adding: "We can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all."

Mr Adams today told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I hope some good will come from this visit and I particularly was taken by Queen Elizabeth's sincere expression of sympathy to all those who had suffered in the course of the conflict."

He hoped the visit would pave the way for greater co-operation between the two nations, saying: "If there is to be more benefit out of this, it will be if it moves beyond these important gestures and remarks."

He added: "It's another step in the journey. It was the conditions created by the peace process which allowed this to happen.

"It's a page in a book - and we need to write the next page and the next page and keep moving the process on."

Mr Adams claimed many nationalists in Northern Ireland were disappointed the Queen failed to apologise for Britain's past in Ireland, but he said: "I never expected that."