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'He's not welcome': Prince Charles faces protests on visit to Sligo

Republican and anti-war groups will be waiting to greet the Prince when he visits next month.

Image: Yui Mok/PA

BRITAIN’S PRINCE CHARLES will not be receiving a warm welcome from everyone on this island when he arrives next month to visit Sligo with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Though politicians and dignitaries will, no doubt, be lining up to warmly greet him, republican and anti-war groups will also be waiting. Des Dalton, President of Republican Sinn Féin told TheJournal.ie that he hopes protests on a similar scale to those during the visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 2011 can be mobilised.

“We’ve made it clear that representatives of the British state are not welcome in Ireland and that statement continues,” he said, adding that he believes visits like this are part of the “normalisation process”.

Charles and Camilla are visiting Sligo because that is where his great-uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed.

Jim Roche of the anti-war movement said it is likely his group will also stage protests, as they did in Dublin when the Prince of Wale’s mother was in town.

“Prince Charles is a big fan of the Saudi Arabian regime,” Roche said, adding that the prince had been in the country in February last year at the same time as arms deals were being signed with British companies.

“We would want to bring attention to that,” he added.

Éirígí, which had the largest cohort of protesters during Queen Elizabeth’s 2011 visit, is waiting to see what kinds of events are planned for Prince Charles before deciding whether or not they will get involved.

“It’s not on the same level as, say, when you had the British Queen here because she was coming on a formal State visit as the head of State and chief of the British military,” spokesperson Brian Leeson said.

“A lot of this comes down to the nature of the trip,” he said adding that official events with government ministers would certainly draw protests from his group.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said yesterday he hopes the visit will be an occasion to promote reconciliation, respect and understanding.

“I am conscious that Prince Charles is the symbolic head of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment and the grievous wrong they have done including to the people of Derry and Ballymurphy where I grew up.

“However I am also conscious that the British Royal family have also been directly affected by the actions of republicans.”

Read: Prince Charles and Camilla are coming to Ireland>

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