SINN Féin’s president has said he hopes Prince Charles’ visit to Ireland will promote “reconciliation, respect and understanding”.
Speaking of today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles will visit Ireland next month, Gerry Adams recalled the visit of the Prince’s mother, Queen Elizabeth, four years ago.
“The visit by the British Queen to the Garden of Remembrance, her words of reconciliation and the subsequent meetings with Martin McGuinness demonstrated the potential of these events,” he said.
Mr Adams also spoke of the conflicted history between the two countries ahead of the visit, particularly of the military disagreements.
“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."
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will engage in a number of public engagements over their four day visit, in both the Republic and the North of Ireland.
It will be the Prince’s first visit to Ireland since 2002 and he is expected to visit Co. Sligo, where his great-uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed in an IRA bombing in 1979.
The visit will commence on May 19 following a request from the British Government. The official itinerary will be announced in the coming days.
“I hope this visit will be an occasion to promote reconciliation, respect and understanding,” added Deputy Adams.