Minister Flanagan praises ‘warm’ and ‘improving’ Anglo-Irish relations

Prince Charles spends second day of Irish visit in Sligo visiting ‘Yeats country’

Prince Charles' visit to Ireland marks a continuation of the healing process following on from the "dark moments" of the Troubles, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.

Addressing an audience at Sligo County Council’s buildings druing a civic reception for the Prince of Wales this afternoon, the minister said Ireland and Britain have now developed a “shared vocabulary of reconciliation”.

“So much of your visit here is about the quality of the relationship between our two countries in the 21st century – relations that can be aptly described as warm, neighbourly, dynamic and further improving all of the time.

"This afternoon will bring, I hope, further healing as we all reflect on those dark moments across these islands that cast a shadow across cities and towns such as Belfast and Birmingham, Derry and Dublin, Warrenpoint and Warrington, as well as here in Sligo and nearby Enniskillen and Monaghan, " he said.


The royal will tour Sligo during the second day of a four-day visit. Accompanied by his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, he will travel to the coastal village of Mullaghmore later today to pay homage to his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten who was killed by an IRA bomb while on a fishing trip in 1979.

Yesterday's visit to Galway provided another momentous occasion in Anglo-Irish politics when Prince Charles shook hands with Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, almost three years on from the historic meeting between Queen Elizabeth and the party's Stormont deputy first minister Martin McGuinness in Dublin.

Prince Charles will also attend a service of peace and reconciliation in St Columba’s Church in Drumcliffe, before moving onto Sligo Institute of Technology and the Sligo races.

Mr Flanagan made reference to the institute when praising the visiting dignitary’s “dedicated work” on sustainable development, and quoted poet William Butler Yeats- whose grave in Drumcliffe is expected to provide another stop-off point for the royal couple- and Belfast poet Louis MacNeice during his speech.

“Our two countries have created a shared vocabulary of cooperation, at times making reconciliation our ‘single purpose’. Your Royal Highness, your journey reflects your personal commitment to that shared purpose of peace and reconciliation.

“I hope that you have a wonderful day in beautiful Yeats country and that you even manage to back a few winners at the Sligo Races,” he added.