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Friday 21 July 2017

'I intend to build on very special relationship with Ireland' - Charles

Prince Charles meets hurlers from schools in Kilkenny. Photo: Damien Eagers
Prince Charles meets hurlers from schools in Kilkenny. Photo: Damien Eagers
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Britain's Prince Charles has given a clear signal that life will go on after Brexit, describing the relationship between Ireland and the UK as being "very special" and adding: "I have every intention of making it even more so if I can."

Speaking at a civic reception at Kilkenny Castle, he thanked Ireland for the warm welcome it had given him and his wife, Camilla. He said: "I always longed to come to this part of the world, Kilkenny, having heard about it all my life.

Prince Charles and Minister Heather Humphreys in Glasnevin Cemetery. Pic Credit: Steve Humphries
Prince Charles and Minister Heather Humphreys in Glasnevin Cemetery. Pic Credit: Steve Humphries
Prince Charles shakes hands with Sein Fein leader Gerry Adams
Prince Charles in Glasnevin Cemetery
Prince Charles in Glasnevin Cemetery
Prince Charles during a visit in Glasnevin Cemetery. Pic Credit: Steve Humphries
Prince Charles and Minister Heather Humphreys in Glasnevin Cemetery
Prince Charles in Glasnevin Cemetery. Pic Credit: Steve Humphries
Prince Charles in Glasnevin Cemetery. Pic Credit: Steve Humphries
Prince Charles, HRH the Prince of Wales, and Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Pic Credit: Steve Humphries
Prince Charles, HRH the Prince of Wales, and Taoiseach Enda Kenny

"I hope and pray that during the rest of my life before I drop dead I might have the chance to visit as many counties as possible of this great country."

The prince said he was looking forward enormously to visiting the other places during their stay.

Warmth

"Again, coming to Ireland gives us an opportunity of hope, just to remind everyone of the enormous strength and warmth of the relationship between the two countries.

"It is a very special relationship and I have every intention of making it even more so if I possibly can."

He said he admired President Michael D Higgins "greatly" for his work in reconciliation and looked forward to the opportunity of meeting "many, many more Irish people" - remarking that he meets a lot all around the world and in the UK.

Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan remarked it was the royal couple's third visit to Ireland in as many years and said he was delighted they had come to explore Ireland's medieval east.

He recalled the prince's visit to Sligo in 2015 as being a "really important step" in our shared journey towards reconciliation and peace and said we continued on this journey together, with two ceremonies at Glasnevin Ceremony today, for those who lost their lives in WW1 and in the 1916 Rising.

He said this represented a "further enhancement of the relationship between our two countries as close friends, as neighbours".

Irish Independent

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