Belfast Telegraph

Charles treads in footsteps of ancestors as he visits Curragh Camp

The Prince of Wales has become the first member of the British royal family to visit the Curragh Camp army base since it was handed over to the Irish state in 1922.

He walked in the footsteps of his great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII, who underwent military training at the Curragh in 1861.

It is currently the main training centre for the Army and is home to 2,000 military personnel.

The prince met with a number of veterans who served in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis.

CPL Frank Noonan, who served in Sierra Leone for five months in 2015, said Charles was very interested in the operation.

"He asked about the mission and if we volunteered to go ourselves. He was very interested in our work there.

"We told him we volunteered to go out. It was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed being part of," added CPL Noonan.

Accompanied by Defence Minister Paul Kehoe TD and Irish Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, he took a tour of the United Nations Training School Ireland (UNTSI).

UNTSI is responsible for the training and education of all Irish Defence Forces personnel preparing to take part in Peace Support Operations globally.

The prince received a briefing from Col Jaisha Mahan about an ongoing humanitarian disaster training exercise.

A number of cross border agencies were taking part in the exercise which focused on their response should an aircraft crash into water during bad weather.

During his visit Charles also met with aircrew from the Air Corps Emergency Helicopter.

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