Belfast Telegraph

Prince Andrew to visit Portrush as patron of junior golf tournament amid Epstein controversy

The Duke of York continues to face questions over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein (Tim Goode/PA)
The Duke of York continues to face questions over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein (Tim Goode/PA)

Prince Andrew is expected to visit Northern Ireland next week as patron of a tournament for junior golfers taking place in Portrush.

The annual Duke Of York Young Champions Trophy is being staged at Royal Portrush Golf Club on September 9 to September 12.

The prince is also a patron of the club.

Up to 60 junior golfers take part in the Trophy, an international competition founded by the prince in 2001.

In July Prince Andrew attended The 148th Open Golf Championship which returned to Portrush after an absence of 68 years.

There are reports other engagements scheduled for the Prince during his time in Northern Ireland have been cancelled.

It's after his friendship with the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein hit the headlines in recent weeks.

66-year-old Epstein took his own life in a jail cell this month while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

In a statement on August 24, the Duke of York said he wanted to "clarify the facts" around his "former association or friendship" with the US financier.

He said it was a mistake to meet Epstein after he left prison in 2010 and said he saw him no more than once or twice a year for the duration of their friendship.

"I have stayed in a number of his residences. 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 his arrest and conviction."

A palace spokesperson said: "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.

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

Royal Portrush Golf Club has been approached for a comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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