Saturday 15 December 2018

"I think it's a wonderful occasion' - Britain's Prince Charles shakes hands with Martin Ferris during Kerry visit

Britain's Prince Charles chats with Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris during a garden party for the Royal couple at Killarney house in Killarney. Picture Credit:Frank McGrath
Britain's Prince Charles chats with Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris during a garden party for the Royal couple at Killarney house in Killarney. Picture Credit:Frank McGrath
Britain's Prince of Wales meeting Sinn Fein's Martin Ferris at a Garden Party at Killarney House as part of their tour of the Republic of Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Britain's Prince of Wales has ended his visit to Ireland by shaking hands with a former IRA gun runner who said the trip was another step on the "peace and reconciliation" journey the British Government and Irish republicans are making.

Charles met Martin Ferris, the Sinn Fein TD, as his four-day visit to Ireland with the Duchess of Cornwall drew to a close.

At a garden party staged in Killarney in County Kerry, the two men warmly shook hands in the grounds of Killarney House and exchanged a few words.

Mr Ferris said about Charles's visit to the area, his fourth trip to Ireland in as many years: "I think it's a wonderful occasion again, it's a big boost to Kerry from a tourism perspective.

"From a national perspective it's another step on the peace and reconciliation journey that both Prince Charles and the British Government and the British royal family are involved with along with Republicans on this island."

The 2011 visit by the Queen to Ireland was seen as a watershed moment in Anglo-Irish relations, ushering in closer ties between the two nations as they reconciled their difficult shared histories.

The Sinn Fein MP went on to highlight the historic visit by the British head of state and how she paid her respects at a monument in Dublin to those who gave their lives for Irish freedom.

Mr Ferris said: "I think the Queen when she visited a number of years back and visited the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin was a huge statement and also going to Croke Park, the home of Gaelic football, and meeting Martin McGuinness."

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