20 May 2015

Prince Charles, Gerry Adams meet

3:56 pm on 20 May 2015

Prince Charles has met Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams at the start of a four-day visit to Ireland.

Britain's Prince Charles, left, speaks with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

Britain's Prince Charles, left, speaks with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. Photo: AFP

Mr Adams was among a number of politicians to greet the prince at a reception at National University of Ireland Galway.

It was the first meeting in the Republic of Ireland between Sinn Fein's leadership and a Royal Family member.

Mr Adams and his colleague, Martin McGuinness, also had a private meeting with Prince Charles.

That meeting took place after the handshake and was in a private room. It lasted between 15 and 20 minutes.

Afterwards, Mr Adams said: "We did discuss the need for the entire process to move forward, particularly in regard to those who have suffered, those who have been bereaved."

He added: "Both he and we expressed our regret for what happened from 1968 onwards.

"We were of a common mind and the fact that the meeting took place, it obviously was a big thing for him to do and a big thing for us to do."

But not everyone welcomed the meeting and the prince's visit.

As Mr Adams was meeting Prince Charles, one of his party's MP's, Paul Maskey, was attending a protest over Parachute Regiment shootings in the Ballymurphy area of west Belfast in the early 1970s.

"Sinn Fein have long supported the Ballymurphy families and will continue to do so," Mr Maskey said.

"Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and other Sinn Fein representatives met today with Prince Charles. This is part of a larger process of peace and reconciliation and moving society forward."

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