Sunday 18 February 2018

Prince Charles' visit to Mullaghmore 'very special' - Mary McAleese

Mary McAleese and Queen Elizabeth II
Mary McAleese and Queen Elizabeth II

Daniel McConnell Group Political Correspondent

Mary McAleese, the former President, has described as "very special" the pending visit of Britain's Prince Charles to the site of the 1979 murder of his great uncle in Co Sligo.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, will visit Ireland and Northern Ireland from May 19 to May 22.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall

The IRA murdered four people in a bomb off the coast of Mullaghmore in 1979, included Lord Mountbatten, the grand uncle of Prince Charles and his 14-year-old godson, Nicholas Knatchbull.

Ms McAleese, who was President when Queen Elizabeth visited Ireland in 2011, has said she expects the visit of Prince Charles to Mullaghmore Co Sligo next week, to be a very special pilgrimage of remembrance for him.

Ms McAleese made her comments in a RTE documentary about the Mullaghmore tragedy.

In the programme, the former President will recall how taken aback she was when she first met the Queen in 1995.

She learned how much it meant to the Queen not being able to come to Ireland. The Queen wanted to be part of the Peace Process, she will say. Ms McAleese also sees next week's visit by Prince Charles as a way to continue the work that started when his mother came here in 2011. The most delicate part of his two-day itinerary will be Wednesday afternoon's visit to Mullaghmore.

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