DUBLIN - The Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein is boycotting an all-Ireland celebration of the islands champion rugby team because the Queen is coming, too.

The festivities tonight at Hillsborough Castle near Belfast are being overshadowed by the Sinn Fein boycott.

Attending are leaders of all other political parties from both the British territory of Northern Ireland and the independent Republic of Ireland, including the Irish head of state, President Mary McAleese.

The Ireland rugby team, which includes British Protestants from Northern Ireland, has won the Six Nations championship for the first time since 1985.

Sinn Fein politicians elected to Parliament in London refuse to participate to avoid taking an oath of allegiance to the Queen.

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