Belfast Telegraph

Prince's visit to Donegal cost taxpayer over £600k

By Cate McCurry

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall's official visit to Co Donegal - where they spent a few hours visiting the county cost Irish taxpayers a whopping €710,000 (£614,800) - and the bill could hit €1m.

The sweeping tour earlier this year followed a two-day trip to Northern Ireland where the Royals visited Queen's University, Belfast and hosted an event at Hillsborough Castle.

Gardai confirmed that the cost of policing the event cost €710,000.

The final bill will be revealed at the end of this month.

The whistle-stop tour on May 25 saw the Prince Charles and Camilla taking part in a tour of Donegal Castle and the Glenveagh walled garden and pleasure grounds.

The pair greeted locals in Donegal town centre and finished off their trip with a visit to a local famous butcher, McGettigan's.

The Duchess also visited Ballyraine National School in Letterkenny while Prince Charles met Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan at a civic reception.

Donegal TD Thomas Pringle criticised the amount spent on the visit which lasted a few hours describing it as "excessive".

"I think it's a huge cost for a one-day visit and people in Donegal could do with a million euro, which is ultimately what it could end up as.

"I think it could have been a lot better spent," he told the Sunday Business Post.

However, Failte Ireland's Alex Connolly said Royal visits can boost Ireland's profile.

"A visit of that nature by a Royal to the west of Ireland reinforces that whole normalisation of the relationship between Ireland and the UK as well," he said.

"Such visits bring profile and publicity and boost Irish tourism overseas."

Belfast Telegraph


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