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Prince Charles uses a few 'seanfhocail' in Sligo speech and says relations between Ireland and the UK are at their strongest ever

British royal says relationship between UK and Ireland at it's strongest ever

Published 20/05/2015 | 13:28

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales leaving The Burren Co Clare.
Pic Steve Humphreys
19th May 2015.
H.R.H. The Prince of Wales leaving The Burren Co Clare. Pic Steve Humphreys 19th May 2015.

Britain's Prince Charles said the Good Friday Peace Agreement has helped transform the political and security landscapes across Ireland and the UK.

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Relations between the two countries are now at their strongest, he said as he addressed a gathering at the Model Arts Centre in the Sligo Institute of Technology.

He added that "we all had regrets", quoting form Queen Elizabeth's speech in Dublin Castle when she made her State visit to Ireland in 2011.

"Relations between Britain and Ireland have changed hugely since my visits in 1995 and in 2002. The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and it's successes have transformed for the better the political and security landscape across these islands​," he said.

Referring to the queen's visit to Ireland four years go and Mr Higgins' return State visit to the UK last year, he described them as "further demonstrations of historical change in our relationships".

The relationship between both countries demonstrated "maturity", "based on a mutual respect and friendly co-operations" between two islands who share much in common.

Continuing, he said both Ireland and the UK acknowledge the value each brings to the other as "trading partners, places tofind work, sporting rivals".

Earlier in his speech, Charles thanked Sligo for organising a live session of traditional Irish music.

"You cannot stop your foot tapping and that's the wonderful thing about it," he said.

"​I cannot tell you what a joy it is for myself and my wife [Camilla] that we are in Ireland again.

"This is a country that we so love visiting, not least because of the wonderful warmth of the Irish failte."

Prince Charles then uttered apologised to the audience before attempting a phrase as gaelige

"There are no strangers here only friends that you haven't yet met," he subsequently translated.

"For the ancient land of of Ireland does have a remarkable tradition of cultural and spiritual creativity and it can be a powerful magic for some.

"It has inspired so many writers, artists and musicians over the years."

Pointing to the 150th celebration of the birth's Ireland's famed WB Yeats, he said he couldn't think of a more "apt" county to visit than Sligo as it "prompted many of his famous poems".

"​Yeats' poetry is widely studied in schools and universities throughout the United Kingdom.

"It is not a stretch to say that it is through Yeats' work that many British people have been introduced to Ireland."

Prince Charles also paid tribute to the 10,000 Irish soldiers who fought in Gallipoli during the First World War.

The British royal referred to a commemorative event in Gallipoli which he attended along with his son Harry, and President Michael D Higgins, his wife Sabina and Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.

He paid special mention to the 3,500 Irish troops who lost their lives there and said the bravery on all sides was "extraordinary".

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