Charles shakes hands with former IRA gun runner as Ireland trip ends

The Prince of Wales has ended his visit to Ireland by shaking hands with a former IRA gun runner who said the trip was another step on the "peace and reconciliation" journey the British Government and Irish republicans are making.

Charles met Martin Ferris, a Sinn Fein MP in the Irish parliament, as his four-day visit to Northern Ireland and the Republic with the Duchess of Cornwall drew to a close.

At a garden party staged in Killarney in County Kerry, the two men warmly shook hands in the grounds of Killarney House and exchanged a few words.

Royal visit to Republic of Ireland
Royal visit to Republic of Ireland

Mr Ferris said about Charles's visit to the area, his fourth trip to Ireland in as many years: "I think it's a wonderful occasion again, it's a big boost to Kerry from a tourism perspective.

"From a national perspective it's another step on the peace and reconciliation journey that both Prince Charles and the British Government and the British royal family are involved with along with Republicans on this island."

The 2011 visit by the Queen to Ireland was seen as a watershed moment in Anglo-Irish relations, ushering in closer ties between the two nations as they reconciled their difficult shared histories.

Thank you so much for a wonderful visit to Ireland! ???You can read a full round-up of The Prince and The Duchess' #RoyalVisitIreland here:

-- Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) June 15, 2018

The Sinn Fein MP went on to highlight the historic visit by the British head of state and how she paid her respects at a monument in Dublin to those who gave their lives for Irish freedom.

Mr Ferris said: "I think the Queen when she visited a number of years back and visited the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin was a huge statement and also going to Croke Park, the home of Gaelic football, and meeting Martin McGuinness."

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