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Butcher brothers hope to find royal favour with Buckingham Black Banger

Published 25/05/2016

The Prince of Wales sampled award-winning sausages made by brothers Diarmuid (left) and Ernan McGettigan at McGettigan's butcher's shop in Donegal town
The Prince of Wales sampled award-winning sausages made by brothers Diarmuid (left) and Ernan McGettigan at McGettigan's butcher's shop in Donegal town

Butcher brothers are convinced they will be supplying the Prince of Wales with their new artisan sausage creation - the Buckingham Black Banger.

Ernan and Diarmuid McGettigan, of McGettigan's in Donegal town, remained coy about their efforts to secure a Royal Warrant after Charles declined the offer to take some of their specially crafted wares with him.

Ernan said: "He had no fridge. Even though he had everything else in the car, he said he'd no fridge."

The McGettigan brothers have been working on the new sausage for the last six months but only found out six weeks ago they would be meeting the Prince.

Diarmuid revealed some of the recipe - half black pudding with home-cured bacon and pear - which he said was "fit for a future king".

The brothers said an "avenue had opened" to get sausages sent to the Prince in July but remained tight-lipped about whether they were expecting any orders.

The stop-off in the popular shop was among a series of engagements in a whistle-stop tour of Co Donegal.

It is a year since Charles's emotional trip to Co Sligo and the harbour village where his great uncle, Lord Mountbatten, was murdered by the IRA in 1979.

The Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived in Donegal town at around 11am amid tight security.

Although a military type schedule was in place, the royal couple spent more than half an hour on the streets shaking hands with old and young, including groups of schoolchildren.

Callum Sweeney, 12, from Glebe National School in Donegal Town, managed to sum up the visit in a sentence: "The Prince is here in Donegal to get a suit from Magee's and get sausages in McGettigans and he's promoting peace in Northern Ireland."

Church of Ireland Archdeacon David Huss, who is chairman of the school, looked on as the royal visitors spent more than half an hour shaking hands.

"It's fantastic, a brilliant moment for Donegal town," he said.

"The Prince and Duchess are very, very welcome. We are delighted that they chose, of all places, Donegal town.

"The children were very keen to come and see them but definitely we thought it was an important day. It's an historic moment and a moment they will remember forever - it's unlikely they will have another opportunity."

The McGettigans were overwhelmed by the personal meeting with the Prince.

"It was a rollercoaster," Ernan said.

"He's so normal, down-to-earth, one of us - there's nothing different about him.

"He's put out the hand of friendship to us in the north-west of Ireland for the second time in 12 months so obviously what do we do, we put the hand back, straight back to him. We must be doing something right."

The McGettigans also said the Prince was amazed at the story of their father Michael giving up a career as a doctor to become a butcher in the 1950s.

Ernan said: "He was flabbergasted by that - how did my father end up in butchering?

"He ended up killing things instead of saving things, as my grandfather said, but fortunately there has to be somebody to do everything."

And with the butchers hoping they would be called on for some special deliveries in the near future they claimed an older sausage creation had impressed Charles - the award-winning hickory and maple.

"He was wiped away by it," Ernan said.

The Duchess tasted a lamb and rosemary and plum sausage.

Ernan added: "On the way out the door, I said 'I hope you come back' and 'Well,' he said, 'It's taken me 70 years to get here in the first place so I think I'll have to think about that one'. That's as close to yes as we'll ever get."

The royal couple also visited the Magee of Donegal tweed factory and attended a civic reception at Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

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