SINN Féin leader Gerry Adams will meet with Prince Charles in Ireland today, as his state visit across the Irish Sea begins in Galway.
The move has been described by one Sinn Féin senator as arising from the party’s “commitment to developing national relations”.
“This meeting is intended as a symbolic and substantive contribution to developing reconciliation and healing processes,” said Senator for Galway West-South Mayo, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
“It is based upon the reality that suffering and pain has taken place on all sides, and that there must be acknowledgement of the loss experienced by every side on the basis of equality and respect for each other.”
The symbolic meeting between the Prince and Deputy Adams comes three years after his party colleague Martin McGuinness’ historic handshake with the Prince’s mother, Queen Elizabeth, at a function in Belfast.
Today will see the Prince of Wales travel to the west coast of Ireland, where much of the visit will take place.
The Prince and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, will make their first stop at the National University of Ireland, Galway, today where he will deliver a speech.
Following this, Prince Charles will visit the Marine Institute and the Burren in Co. Clare, while the Duchess will visit a number of locations in Galway City Centre.
The most poignant part of the four-day visit will see Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visiting Mullaghmore in Co. Sligo, where the Prince’s great-uncle Louis Mountbatten was killed in an IRA attack in 1979.