Ireland Rejects Referendum Redux

DUBLIN -- Ireland rebuffed as premature on Wednesday a French suggestion that it hold a second referendum on the EU reform treaty rejected by voters last month, saying hasty conclusions were unhelpful.

The Irish Times reported "quiet fury" within the government after French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday that Ireland would have to hold a second vote on the pact designed to overhaul EU institutions.

Sarkozy, whose country holds the EU's rotating six-month presidency, is due to travel to Ireland next week to discuss the reasons for the Irish "No" vote.

Henri Guaino, special adviser to the French president, said Sarkozy's comments were not an official declaration and that he would use his visit to Ireland to evaluate the situation.

Aengus O Snodaigh, a member of the nationalist Sinn Fein party, described Sarkozy's comments as deeply insulting.