Europe Prince Charles and Camilla to begin Irish visit in Galway

Prince Charles and Camilla to begin Irish visit in Galway

Prince Charles is expected to make the first of two scheduled speeches in Galway
Prince Charles is expected to make the first of two scheduled speeches in Galway

Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, arrive in the west of Ireland today at the start of a four-day visit.

The couple will travel to Galway this afternoon, where they have a number of engagements.

Their visit starts with a trip to NUI Galway where Prince Charles is expected to make the first of two scheduled speeches.

He is also expected to meet Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.

It will be the first meeting in the Republic between Sinn Féin leadership and a member of the British Royal family since partition.

In 2012, Mr McGuinness shook hands with Queen Elizabeth at a function in Belfast’s Lyric Theatre in his capacity as Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister.

However, the previous year Sinn Féin declined to let Mr McGuinness accept an invitation to a State banquet at Dublin Castle during the Queen’s historic visit.

Following the meeting in Galway, Prince Charles is to visit the Marine Institute and the Burren, while Camilla will travel to a number of locations in Galway city centre.

The couple are to attend a private dinner with President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at Lough Cutra in Co Galway tonight.

Security will be tight throughout the visit, with road closures and restricted access to all locations.

Gardaí say there is no specific evidence in relation to any terrorist threat, but add they are taking nothing for granted.

The visit has been described by the British Embassy as another important step in promoting peace and reconciliation.

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