Saturday 20 January 2018

'Deeply moving visit to Glasnevin the most memorable part of visit'

The Duchess of Cornwall meets Ann Marie Gill and Noeleen Blackwell of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Photo: Damien Eagers
The Duchess of Cornwall meets Ann Marie Gill and Noeleen Blackwell of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Photo: Damien Eagers
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

The Prince of Wales said laying wreaths in honour of the Irish and British who died in both world wars and in the 1916 Rising was the most "memorable" and "deeply moving" moment of the royal visit.

Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall were welcomed to an overcast Glasnevin cemetery on the final day of their visit by Arts Minister Heather Humphreys.

Memorial stones honouring four Irish-born recipients of the Victoria Cross, the highest honour for gallantry in the British armed forces, were unveiled.

Prince Charles and Mrs Humphreys laid wreaths to honour those who had fallen. The royal couple then visited Éamon de Valera's gravestone, the Republican plot, and Michael Collins' grave, before arriving at the 1916 Rising Necrology Wall. Here the names of 488 people killed during the Rising, including 268 civilians, 119 British army soldiers, 63 rebels and 40 children, are inscribed.

"Each name has a story. Some are well known and some will never be known," chairman of Glasnevin Trust John Green said. The prince later said visiting Glasnevin had been the most memorable moment of the visit. He stressed the importance of honouring "the memory of so many men and women from all sides who sacrificed and shaped our shared history".

While Camilla went on to visit Airfield House and the Rape Crisis Centre, Charles made his way to Our Lady's Hospice in Harold's Cross where he met with patients, staff members and Golden Retriever therapy dog Rían. "It means Little King," one of the aides explained.

The day drew to a close at the British Embassy with a very British garden party - crustless smoked salmon sandwiches and scones were doing the rounds.

On the lawn outside, Prince Charles shook hands with Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, who was visiting the residence for the first time. Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan, presenter Lorraine Keane and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan were among those present.

Charles stressed the importance of British and Irish relations, saying: "These bonds shape our shared prosperity and security and they are everywhere."

Irish Independent

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