Prince William praises work of NI emergency services on Belfast visit

Duke of Cambridge highlights efforts of mental health charity

A picture given to the Duke of Cambridge for Prince George by artist Oliver Jeffers during a visit to Belfast. Photograph: Niall carson/PA Wire

The Duke of Cambridge has paid tribute to the emergency services and a mental health charity while on a short visit to Northern Ireland.

Prince William arrived in Belfast on Wednesday afternoon where he drew attention to the charity Inspire and two emergency services organisations, Lagan Search and Rescue and the recently established Northern Ireland Air Ambulance service.

His wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is pregnant with the couple’s third child, did not join him on the trip.

Prince William first visited the Belfast city centre offices of Inspire, a social enterprise which focuses on promoting wellbeing for all across the island of Ireland.


Its services include advice and care for those dealing with addiction issues, support for the professional and emergency services, and independent living support and care.

He officially opened the organisation’s new offices at Lombard House.

The Duke then travelled to the Titanic Quarter to see the work of Lagan Search and Rescue, a rescue and lifeboat service that covers the Belfast Harbour Estate, River Lagan and the estuarial waters of Belfast Lough.

The service, which has 31 trained volunteers, was formed in 2012.

Prince William watched a live demonstration of a rescue mission in the harbour before meeting a number of the volunteers. He officially named a new lifeboat on behalf of Lagan Search and Rescue.

At the harbour he also met crew members from one of the helicopters of Air Ambulance Northern Ireland.

On Wednesday evening, Prince William was attending a private dinner for the Irish Guards Association.

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times