Belfast Telegraph

Duke of York spends afternoon playing golf in Co Antrim

Andrew is visiting the Northern Ireland course in his role as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy.

The Duke of York (left) as he attends the Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim (Liam McBurney/PA)
The Duke of York (left) as he attends the Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim (Liam McBurney/PA)

By Rebecca Black, PA

The Duke of York spent an afternoon playing golf on a Northern Ireland course which recently hosted The Open.

Andrew arrived at the Royal Portrush Golf Club on Monday morning and received a welcome from officials before a tour of the seaside course.

It was his third public engagement in three days, which are among his first since the scandal broke over his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.

bpanews_76a21b16-2305-4da4-b005-96b66ecb28e0_embedded245142541
The Duke of York with solicitor Paul Tweed (centre) as he attends The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim (Liam McBurney/PA)

He had been due to open a railway station during his visit to Northern Ireland this week, but it emerged earlier this month that had been cancelled.

The prince was accompanied on his tour of the golf course by Paul Tweed, a Co Down born lawyer who specialises in defamation cases and made his name internationally acting for a number of high profile clients including Jennifer Lopez and Andrews’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.

It has been reported that Mr Tweed is a family friend of the Yorks and is not representing the prince.

Andrew is a patron of the club, and in July he attended The 148th Open Golf Championship which returned to Portrush for the first time in almost 70 years.

bpanews_76a21b16-2305-4da4-b005-96b66ecb28e0_embedded245145356
The Duke of York (left) with Gary McNeill (centre), Royal Portrush head professional (Liam McBurney/PA)

Later on Monday, Andrew attempted the famously challenging links course himself.

He spent much of the afternoon on the course with Gary McNeill, the head professional at Royal Portrush by his side, before departing just before 4pm.

Andrew visited the golf club in his role as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: “His Royal Highness will undertake a number of engagements related to the tournament, at which there will be 66 sportsmen and women from 35 countries.

“The duke will meet volunteers, supporters and representatives from local businesses, host the tournament dinner, attend the tournament and present prizes.”

bpanews_76a21b16-2305-4da4-b005-96b66ecb28e0_embedded245142934
The Duke of York receives a tour of the club in County Antrim, which recently hosted The Open (Liam McBurney/PA)

The prince has been dogged by allegations of impropriety with underage girls introduced to him by Epstein.

Epstein was found hanged in his cell on August 10 in New York while facing fresh charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex.

Buckingham Palace has issued strong denials in response to claims from a woman who said she was forced to have underage sex with the duke.

bpanews_76a21b16-2305-4da4-b005-96b66ecb28e0_embedded245142933
Andrew will host the tournament dinner at the course (Liam McBurney/PA)

Virginia Roberts alleged in court papers in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the US state.

The palace has called the allegations “false and without any foundation”, saying “any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors” by the duke was “categorically untrue”.

Andrew said in a statement on August 24: “At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to (Epstein’s) arrest and conviction.”

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph