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Here's what Prince Charles and Camilla will get up to in Ireland today

The party have stated that a “healing process” needs to be developed.

Image: Peter Byrne

Updated 7.43am

PRINCE CHARLES AND his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will begin their four-day visit to Ireland this afternoon in Galway.

The most notable event on today’s itinerary is a meeting with Sinn Féin’s President Gerry Adams, as well as his deputy Martin McGuinness.

The couple’s first day in Ireland will kick off at NUI Galway, where Charles will make two speeches.

He will then move to the Marine Institute and the Burren where he will meet Minister Simon Coveney. While her husband attends that event, Camilla will be taken to a number of locations in Galway city.

Tonight, there will be a private dinner with President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at Louch Cutra.

There will be a strong security presence throughout but gardaí have said there are no specific threats against the pair.

Last weekend, three men appeared before the Special Criminal Court charged over dissident republican activity and the discovery of bomb parts. They were detained following raids ahead of the State visit by the members of the Royal family.

Sinn Féin’s decision

In contrast, Sinn Féin’s decision to meet with Prince Charles can be seen as a definite olive branch to the British monarchy as the wounds from the Troubles in the north continue to heal.

In a statement this week, the party confirmed some of its leadership received invites to various events.

“On Saturday an Ard Chomhairle decided that representatives of Sinn Féin would attend events as part of the visit of Prince Charles to Ireland,” the party’s national chairman Declan Kearney said.

“In line with the Ard Chomhairle decision both will meet with Prince Charles.”

The meeting will be the first between the leader of Sinn Féin and a member of the Royal Family in decades. It comes after McGuinness shook Queen Elizabeth’s hand in Belfast in 2012.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said that the visit “should be an opportunity to promote reconciliation” and build on the “good work done by Martin McGuinness and the English Queen”.

gerry Gerry Adams Source: Leah Farrell/Photocall

“Prince Charles is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment,” said Adams.

A regiment of the British Army that has been responsible for killing of many Irish citizens.
But he also has been bereaved by the actions of republicans.

Charles’ grand-uncle Lord Mountbatten was killed by an IRA bomb in 1979.

“Thankfully the conflict is over. But there remains unresolved injustices. These must be rectified and a healing process developed,” said Adams.

There is a responsibility on us all to promote reconciliation and seek to promote healing.

It is with that in mind that the Ard Chomhairle decided that Sinn Féin representatives will attend a number of events during this visit.

Additional reporting by Nicky Ryan and Sinéad O’Carroll

QUIZ: Who said it… Prince Charles or Michael D? 

Read: Bomb disposal team deal with four devices just days before Prince Charles visit

Read: What’s the big deal about Prince Charles writing letters to politicians?

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