Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Prince Charles gets to grips with hurling stick at refurbished historic church during Northern Ireland visit

By Laura Abernethy

Published 25/05/2016

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall ontop of the boat house at Glenveagh Castle in Glenveagh National Park, Co Donegal, as his visits the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PA
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall ontop of the boat house at Glenveagh Castle in Glenveagh National Park, Co Donegal, as his visits the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PA
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall ontop of the boat house at Glenveagh Castle in Glenveagh National Park, Co Donegal, as they visit the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PA
The Duchess of Cornwall meets students during a visit to the Ballyraine National School in Letterkenny, Co Donegal. PA
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Glenveagh Castle in Glenveagh National Park, Co Donegal, as they visit the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PA
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visit Donegal Castle on May 25, 2016 in Letterkenny, Ireland. The royal couple are on a one day visit to Ireland having spent two days across the border in Northern Ireland. It is their first trip to Donegal. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by well wishers as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by well wishers as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales is greeted by well wishers as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meets Philomena Barry, 90, who was the housekeeper of his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten, as Charles visits Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meets Philomena Barry, 90, who was the housekeeper of his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten, as Charles visits Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by Irish TV presenter Noel Cunningham (left) as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales (right) is greeted by well wishers as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales is greeted by well wishers as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by Irish TV presenter Noel Cunningham (left) as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by well wishers as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall (bottom left) are greeted by well wishers as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by well wishers as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by well wishers as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Two women protest during the visit of Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in Donegal Town, as Charles is visiting the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A women protests during the visit of Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in Donegal Town, as Charles is visiting the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Two women protest during the visit of Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in Donegal Town, as Charles is visiting the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by Irish TV presenter Noel Cunningham (left) as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales is greeted by well wishers as they visit Donegal Town in the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Ellie Nichoilan, 9, speaks with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Donegal Castle in Donegal Town, as Charles visits the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Ellie Nichoilan, 9, speaks with the Prince of Wales at Donegal Castle in Donegal Town, as Charles visits the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Donegal Castle in Donegal Town, as Charles visits the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Donegal Castle in Donegal Town, as Charles visits the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Donegal Castle in Donegal Town, as Charles visits the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall (partially obscured) leaving Donegal Castle in Donegal Town, as Charles visits the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Gardai provide security as the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive in Donegal Town during a visit to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall leaving Donegal Castle in Donegal Town, as Charles visits the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
People await the arrival of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in Donegal Town, as Charles is visiting the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
People await the arrival of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in Donegal Town, as Charles is visiting the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
School children await the arrival of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in Donegal Town, as Charles is visiting the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Two protesters, one with a "Brits Out" banner, await the arrival of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in Donegal Town, as Charles is visiting the Republic of Ireland in the latest royal bid to solidify transformed Anglo-Irish relations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 25, 2016. See PA story IRISH Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Members of the public pictured with Prince Charles. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Portico Presbyterian Church in Portaferry CoDown Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-05-2016: Members of the public what to see Prince Charles. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Portico Presbyterian Church in Portaferry CoDown Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-05-2016: Members of the public what to see Prince Charles. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Portico Presbyterian Church in Portaferry CoDown Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-05-2016: Members of the public pictured with Prince Charles. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Portico Presbyterian Church in Portaferry CoDown Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-05-2016: Members of the public pictured with Prince Charles. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Portico Presbyterian Church in Portaferry CoDown Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-05-2016: Members of the public pictured with Prince Charles. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Portico Presbyterian Church in Portaferry CoDown Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-05-2016: Members of the public pictured with Prince Charles. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Portico Presbyterian Church in Portaferry CoDown Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-05-2016: Members of the public pictured with Prince Charles. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Portico Presbyterian Church in Portaferry CoDown Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-05-2016: Members of the public pictured with Prince Charles. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Portico Presbyterian Church in Portaferry CoDown Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-05-2016: Members of the public pictured with Prince Charles. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Portico Presbyterian Church in Portaferry CoDown Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.
The Prince of Wales meeting Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster at Hillsborough Castle in County Down. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales is greeted by Lord Lieutenant for County Down David Lindsay as he visits the Portico Arts Centre in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. The Grade A listed building, formerly Portaferry Presbyterian Church, has undergone a £1.5m restoration to create an arts and heritage centre used by all sections of the community. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales (left) is greeted by Lord Lieutenant for County Down David Lindsay as he visits the Portico Arts Centre in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. The Grade A listed building, formerly Portaferry Presbyterian Church, has undergone a £1.5m restoration to create an arts and heritage centre used by all sections of the community. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales (left) is greeted by Lord Lieutenant for County Down David Lindsay as he visits the Portico Arts Centre in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. The Grade A listed building, formerly Portaferry Presbyterian Church, has undergone a £1.5m restoration to create an arts and heritage centre used by all sections of the community. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales (front, second left) attends a service of thanksgiving and dedication during a visit to the Portico Arts Centre in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. The Grade A listed building, formerly Portaferry Presbyterian Church, has undergone a £1.5m restoration to create an arts and heritage centre used by all sections of the community. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales is greeted by Lord Lieutenant for County Down David Lindsay as he visits the Portico Arts Centre in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. The Grade A listed building, formerly Portaferry Presbyterian Church, has undergone a £1.5m restoration to create an arts and heritage centre used by all sections of the community. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales attends a service of thanksgiving and dedication during a visit to the Portico Arts Centre in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. The Grade A listed building, formerly Portaferry Presbyterian Church, has undergone a £1.5m restoration to create an arts and heritage centre used by all sections of the community. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meeting Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster at Hillsborough Castle in County Down. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales (front, second right) attends a service of thanksgiving and dedication during a visit to the Portico Arts Centre in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. The Grade A listed building, formerly Portaferry Presbyterian Church, has undergone a £1.5m restoration to create an arts and heritage centre used by all sections of the community. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meeting Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Hillsborough Castle in County Down. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meeting Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Hillsborough Castle in County Down. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meeting Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Hillsborough Castle in County Down. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meeting Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster at Hillsborough Castle in County Down. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meeting Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster at Hillsborough Castle in County Down. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2016. See PA story ULSTER Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster curtseys for The Prince of Wales as he arrives at the Northern Ireland Science Park at Queen's University Belfast, where he officially launched the University's first Global Research Institute.Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales arrives at the Northern Ireland Science Park at Queen's University Belfast, where he officially launched the University's first Global Research Institute.Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales (left) speaks with President and Vice Chancellor of Queens University Belfast Professor Patrick Johnson (centre) and Professor John McCanny as he arrives at the Northern Ireland Science Park at Queen's University Belfast, where he officially launched the University's first Global Research Institute. Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster as he arrives at the Northern Ireland Science Park at Queen's University Belfast, where he officially launched the University's first Global Research Institute. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles is greeted by the First Minster Arlene Foster as he begins his visit. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles is greeted by the Deputy Lord Mayor for Belfast Guy Spence as he begins his visit. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles is greeted by the Gavin Robinson MP for east Belfast as he begins his visit. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles is greeted by the First Minster Arlene Foster as he begins his visit. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles chats to staff at the end of visit to the centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles signs a visitors book at the end of his visit to the centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles chats to staff at the end of visit to the centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles signs a visitors book at the end of his visit to the centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles signs a visitors book at the end of his visit to the centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles unveils a plaque at the end of his visit to the centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles unveils a plaque at the end of his visit to the centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles chats to staff at the end of visit to the centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles chats to staff at the end of visit to the centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles leaves the centre after his visit. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales starts a two day visit to Northern Ireland by launching Queen's University's first Global Research Institute at ECIT(Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology)beside the Northern Ireland Science Park in the Titanic Area of Belfast. Prince Charles leaves the centre after his visit. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

A "dank, damp and dangerous" church transformed into a heritage and arts centre was described as "remarkable" by Prince Charles as he officially opened it yesterday.

The Prince of Wales was in the Portico centre in Portaferry on the second day of his official visit to Northern Ireland.

Formerly known as Portaferry Presbyterian Church, the building has undergone a £1.5m renovation over the past eight years.

It is one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in Ireland, and the current building is modelled on the Temple of Nemesis on the island of Rhamnous.

In 2009, the small congregation asked Friends of Portaferry Presbyterian Church to carry out a condition report for the "dank, damp and dangerous" building.

With the bill set to run into millions of pounds, it became clear that the congregation would not be able to carry out the work alone.

The building was handed over to the Friends of Portaferry Presbyterian Church, and with the help of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other supporters, a complete overhaul from the roof to the foundations was carried out.

The project involved completely rebuilding the church's 100-year-old organ and the creation of a new modern extension.

The building will now become a community centre and will host cultural, educational and heritage events. It will also continue to be used as a working church.

Charles is famous for his love of architecture, although he has antagonised many architects with his belief that traditional and modern buildings should complement one another. With its clear classic styling, he gave the Portico the royal seal of approval yesterday, saying it was a pleasure to open the building, and paid tribute to the hard work of those involved in the in transforming it.

His Royal Highness joined the congregation and invited guests in giving thanks for their new church in a service led by the Rev David Gray.

As Charles unveiled the plaque for the building and became the first person to sign its visitors' book, he said: "It is a remarkable project and for me it is very special to be able to join you on this occasion to rededicate this building.

"I hope it will provide everybody who lives in this particular town with something very special for the future."

Mr Gray added: "I think it's absolutely wonderful that the Prince of Wales has taken the time to come to share with us what is a very big occasion in the life of the congregation and in the life of Portico.

"I know he has a great interest in architecture and arts and culture, so I hope he enjoyed it."

Ian McDonnell, chairman of the Friends of Portaferry Presbyterian Church, said: "This has been a long road and today is such a big milestone for us. We're absolutely delighted to have His Royal Highness here.

"We now have a wonderful building, set fair for the next 170 years. It is a building for the whole community to enjoy and a building that still is the spiritual home of the local Presbyterian congregation, as this site has been since 1665."

The prince was presented with a hurling stick by members of the local GAA club and a line drawing of Portaferry before he made his way outside to greet guests and local residents.

Lord Mayor of Ards and North Down Alan Graham said: "This truly is an amazing building and it's great to see it restored to its former glory. It's excellent that Prince Charles took the time to come and open it.

"This has been one of the biggest days for the community of Portaferry. They gave him a wonderful welcome."

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph