Prince Charles' itinerary for Irish visit will bring him to Galway, the Burren and Yeats' grave
PRINCE Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall will begin their trip to Ireland later this month with a visit to Galway, the Burren and Yeats' grave.
The itinerary for the four day trip includes trips to the Burren and to Mullaghmore, the site of the IRA murder of the Prince’s great uncle Lord Mountbatten. They will also enjoy an evening at Sligo races during their two day visit to Ireland.
Dublin has not been included in the brief visit.
A statement from Buckingham Palace said the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will undertake their first official joint visit to Ireland at the request of the British Government.
They will begin the trip in Galway on May 19, where they will attend a reception at NUI, Galway. The event will celebrate Irish crafts, dancing and music, as well as Galway’s and the University’s links to the UK.
The Prince of Wales will then highlight environment and conservation projects with visits to the Marine Institute in Galway and the Burren in Co Clare.
The programme describes the Burren as “famous for its wild and rocky terrain, rare plant life, biodiversity and archaeology”.
The Duchess of Cornwall will also undertake a series of solo engagements, thought to include a visit to St Nicholas’ National School in the Claddagh. The couple will then jointly attend a private dinner with President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina.
The following day the royal couple will travel to Sligo were they will be welcomed at a civic reception. They will then attend a service of Peace and Reconciliation at St Columba's Church, in Drumcliffe before visiting the grave of WB Yeats to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth.
They will also visit nearby Mullaghmore, the scene of the 1979 murder of Charles’ great uncle Lord Mountbatten. Here they will meet with members of the local community.
Later in the day, they will attend the Sligo Races, which will draw the Republic of Ireland programme to a close.
On May 21, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will arrive in Northern Ireland and carry out a number of engagements in Belfast. This will include a reception and concert featuring performers from Northern Ireland at Hillsborough Castle.
The following day, they will visit Mount Stewart house and gardens to mark the completion of a three-year restoration programme supported by local volunteers.
They will also visit Corrymeela, Northern Ireland's oldest Peace and Reconciliation centre, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The Prince previously visited Corrymeela during an official visit to Northern Ireland in 1998.
The statement from Buckingham Palace said peace and reconciliation will be one of the main themes of the royal visit, alongside heritage, community, conservation and innovation.
“Following the State Visits of Her Majesty The Queen to Ireland in May 2011 and of The President of Ireland to the UK in April 2014, Their Royal Highnesses will continue to promote the UK's relationship with Ireland through a broad range of engagements featuring representatives from government, local authorities, charity, business, education, faith, community organizations,
environmental groups and the arts,” it read.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan welcomed the programme adding: “a well balanced and interesting programme has been developed which celebrates the strength of Irish-British relations today. “
"This visit to the West of Ireland further cements the reconciliation work of recent decades, to which Prince Charles has made a strong contribution through his previous visits to Ireland. I look forward to joining the visit programme in Sligo, where this theme of peace and reconciliation will be highlighted in particular,” he added.