THIS MONTH’S trip by the Prince of Wales to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be “a good thing” if it contributes to the process of reconciliation between former enemies, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said.
The tour is expected to include a visit to the site of Charles’s great-uncle Lord Mountbatten’s murder by the IRA.
As well as paying their respects in Mullaghmore, in County Sligo, where Mountbatten was killed in a bombing in August 1979, the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall are reportedly planning to visit Dublin and Galway.
Mr McGuinness, who has acknowledged he was a member of the IRA in the early 1970s, said he had not yet had any discussions over whether he would meet Charles during the four-day trip, but was willing to consider doing so.
Mr McGuinness said: “We haven’t had any discussions about that so far. We have just had a news report that this visit will be happening, and that he intends to visit both Sligo and Galway, and the speculation is that he will visit the site of Mullaghmore where his great-uncle lost his life. Obviously, in terms of the acts of reconciliation that there have been with Queen Elizabeth on several occasions, if this visit fits into the whole process of reconciliation, then I think that will be a good thing.”
He said there had been ‘some very powerful symbolism’ over the years.