Saturday 18 November 2017

'History is important but the future hasn't been written': Prince Charles meets with Gerry Adams in Dublin

Prince Charles shakes hands with Sein Fein leader Gerry Adams
Prince Charles shakes hands with Sein Fein leader Gerry Adams
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Prince Charles paid his condolences to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams on the death of his colleague Martin McGuinness as they shook hands at the British Embassy in Glencairn this afternoon.

Prince Charles said that he had written to the Mrs McGuinness’ widow.

Prince Charles and Minister Heather Humphreys in Glasnevin Cemetery. Pic Credit: Steve Humphries
Prince Charles and Minister Heather Humphreys in Glasnevin Cemetery. Pic Credit: Steve Humphries
Prince Charles shakes hands with Sein Fein leader Gerry Adams
Prince Charles in Glasnevin Cemetery
Prince Charles in Glasnevin Cemetery
Prince Charles during a visit in Glasnevin Cemetery. Pic Credit: Steve Humphries
Prince Charles and Minister Heather Humphreys in Glasnevin Cemetery
Prince Charles in Glasnevin Cemetery. Pic Credit: Steve Humphries
Prince Charles in Glasnevin Cemetery. Pic Credit: Steve Humphries
Prince Charles, HRH the Prince of Wales, and Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Pic Credit: Steve Humphries
Prince Charles, HRH the Prince of Wales, and Taoiseach Enda Kenny

The prince joked with Mr Adams that the two of them were born in the same year, 1948, but that the Sinn Féin leader was a little older, being born in October and the prince in November.

It's not the first time the two men have met - Adams and HRH  first shook hands in NUI Galway in 2015 - but the location of their meeting this time was of particular significance.

On the road to Glencairn on July 21, 1976, Sir Christopher Christopher Ewart-Biggs (55), the newly appointed British Ambassador to Ireland, and 26-year-old British civil servant Judith Cooke were killed after their car was blown up by members of the IRA.

A 200lb bomb, hidden in a drain under the road, was detonated by a three-man IRA terror gang as the car passed over it.

Speaking afterwards Adams said: "The history is the history and it's really important but the future hasn't been written."

Read More: 'Political leaders need to show leadership': Gerry Adams on reconciliation in the north and post-Brexit fears

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall continued their visit to Ireland today.

They began the day at Glasnevin cemetery where the Duke and Duchess were greeted by Minister for Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys and John Green, chairman of the Glasnevin Trust.

Four Victoria Cross paving stones were unveiled beside the cross of sacrifice, remembering four Irish born soldiers who in 1917 were awarded Britain's highest award for gallantry.

The Duke of Wales unveiled a stone in memory of Company Sergeant Major Robert Hill Hanna, who was remembered for the "most conspicuous bravery in attack."

Read More: 'Absolutely jammers' - Commuters complain as Royal visit causes traffic chaos

He then laid a wreath at the Cross of Sacrifice before he and the Duchess of Cornwall spoke with relatives of the four Irish born soldiers, with the duchess remarking that the weather was "not quite as nice as yesterday."

The royal couple were then taken on a "whistlestop" tour of the cemetery, accompanied by Conor Dodd, a historian at Glasnevin.

Mr Dodd said the Duke of Wales showed a "very keen interest in Irish history."

They visited the grave of James Joyce's parents, the Republican Plot, Michael Collins' grave before arriving at the 1916 Rising Necrology Wall.

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