Friday 15 December 2017

Prince Charles and Camilla to visit Ireland for three days this week

Prince Charles and Camilla during their Sligo visit
Prince Charles and Camilla during their Sligo visit

Tony Jones

BRITAIN'S Prince of Wales is making a three-day visit to Ireland, Clarence House has announced.

Charles will begin his trip in Belfast on Monday, and on Tuesday will be joined in Northern Ireland by the Duchess of Cornwall.

The royal couple will then travel to the Republic on Wednesday for an official visit.

The visit to Ireland is at the request of the Government and follows Charles and Camilla's trip to the country this time last year when the Prince toured the place where his great-uncle, Lord Mountbatten, was murdered by the IRA in 1979.

A Clarence House spokesman said: "The visits will recognise the warm friendship that exists between both countries, promoting understanding of their respective heritage and celebrating the best that each has to offer."

Charles will begin his visit to Belfast this lunchtime by touring the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen's University Belfast.

The heir to the throne will be briefed on the work of the institute and CSIT and also tour a laboratory to watch a demonstration on the weather satellite technology the centre is researching and will learn more about cyber-security software.

During their visit to Northern Ireland the royal couple will visit a number of successful local businesses, some of which work in the food and drink sector, as 2016 is the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink.

Earlier this month Charles attended an event at Fortnum and Mason in London to promote food and produce from Northern Ireland, as part of his work supporting the sector.

The heir to the throne and his wife will also host a musical evening at Hillsborough Castle which will feature an eclectic programme, with performances from the DIT Harp Ensemble from the Dublin Conservatory of Music & Drama, the Belfast Opera, the "Folk & Trad" group of the Royal Irish Regiment and an appearance by comedian Tim McGarry.

During his visit to Ireland in May last year Charles made an emotional trip to Mullaghmore in Co Sligo - the picturesque fishing village where his beloved Lord Mountbatten and three others were murdered by the IRA in 1979.

At the time he described Mountbatten as the "'grandfather I never had'' and said the murders had given him a deep understanding of the pain suffered by victims of the 30-year Northern Ireland conflict.

On Wednesday the royal couple will visit Donegal Town in the Irish Republic, and celebrate the area's heritage by visiting Magee's - a local company which has been producing tweed for 150 years.

At the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Charles will meet local entrepreneurs and learn more about the institute's cross-border programmes, while Camilla will visit a local school.

Finally, at Glenveagh Castle the couple will tour the gardens and meet children who have been learning about some of the conservation work which takes place in Glenveagh National Park.

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