Belfast Telegraph

Charles and Camilla visit Belfast

The Irish language featured prominently at the start of a visit by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Northern Ireland.

The royals visited St George's Church on Belfast's High Street, which dates from the 1800s.

Charles visited the same building 21 years ago when its future was in doubt as a result of damage suffered by city centre bomb attacks during the Troubles.

Ambitious restoration work ordered by the Church of Ireland is now almost complete.

The royal couple also met a string of people involved in promoting and protecting the Irish language, while Charles was presented with a gift of the Book of Common Prayer and also a copy translated in Irish "Leabhar na hUrnai Coitinne".

First Minister Peter Robinson and Secretary of State Owen Paterson attended the visit, with the Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast, Dame Mary Peters.

The royals met members of the church congregation and those involved in the ongoing restoration, while they also heard a performance by the church choir.

Charles and the Duchess also met members of An Cumann Galeach na h-Eaglishe, the Guild of the Irish Language, and Marie Andrews, director of Abuba, the Irish Language Children's Theatre Company.

They were introduced to development officer of the Church of Ireland Irish Language Guild, Caroline O'Nolain, and director of the Ultach Trust, Aodan McPhoilin.

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