Prince Andrew Northern Ireland event attendance would 'change the narrative,' say organisers
An invitation to scandal-hit Prince Andrew to officiate at a ceremony in Northern Ireland has been withdrawn, it has been reported.
Sky News reported that organisers withdrew an invitation to the Duke of York to the ceremony at Portrush train station, which has undergone a £5m upgrade.
The Duke has been embroiled in controversy over claims he forced a woman to have sex with him when she was 17-years-old. He denies the claims. The alleged abuse was facilitated by his late friend, the disgraced paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, who took his own life in jail.
One of the organisers of the Portrush event expressed concerns to Sky News that the Duke's presence would "change the narrative" surrounding their event.
However, it is believed his invite to the annual Duke Of York Young Champions Trophy at Royal Portrush Golf Club, where he is patron and where The Open was recently staged, still stands. The competition is for boys and girls under the age of 18. A palace spokesperson said Andrew will "host the tournament dinner, attend the tournament and present prizes".
"The Duke of York has a full programme in Northern Ireland as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy. HRH will undertake a number of engagements related to the tournament, at which there will be 66 sportsmen and women from 35 countries.