Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein leadership meet with Prince Charles - 'All identities and traditions on our island must be respected'

The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th June 2018 - The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid.ÊÊ The wreath of white roses and herbs of remembrance (rosemary,Êlavender and thyme) was from the gardens of Hillsborough Castle. His two-day visit to Northern Ireland began in Belfast earlier on Tuesday. The Prince of Wales is pictured meeting the public in the centre of Omagh town centre. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th June 2018 - The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid.ÊÊ The wreath of white roses and herbs of remembrance (rosemary,Êlavender and thyme) was from the gardens of Hillsborough Castle. His two-day visit to Northern Ireland began in Belfast earlier on Tuesday. The Prince of Wales is pictured meeting fire officers in the centre of Omagh town centre. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th June 2018 - The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid.ÊÊ The wreath of white roses and herbs of remembrance (rosemary,Êlavender and thyme) was from the gardens of Hillsborough Castle. His two-day visit to Northern Ireland began in Belfast earlier on Tuesday. The Prince of Wales is pictured meeting fire officers in the centre of Omagh town centre. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th June 2018 - The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid.ÊÊ The wreath of white roses and herbs of remembrance (rosemary,Êlavender and thyme) was from the gardens of Hillsborough Castle. His two-day visit to Northern Ireland began in Belfast earlier on Tuesday. The Prince of Wales is pictured meeting the public in the centre of Omagh town centre. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th June 2018 - The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid.ÊÊ The wreath of white roses and herbs of remembrance (rosemary,Êlavender and thyme) was from the gardens of Hillsborough Castle. His two-day visit to Northern Ireland began in Belfast earlier on Tuesday. The Prince of Wales in the Memorial Garden. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th June 2018 - The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid.ÊÊ The wreath of white roses and herbs of remembrance (rosemary,Êlavender and thyme) was from the gardens of Hillsborough Castle. His two-day visit to Northern Ireland began in Belfast earlier on Tuesday. The Prince of Wales is pictured with Caroline Martin. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th June 2018 - The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid.ÊÊ The wreath of white roses and herbs of remembrance (rosemary,Êlavender and thyme) was from the gardens of Hillsborough Castle. His two-day visit to Northern Ireland began in Belfast earlier on Tuesday. The Prince of Wales is pictured meeting Stanley McCombe who lost his wife Ann in the Omagh bombing. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th June 2018 - The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid.ÊÊ The wreath of white roses and herbs of remembrance (rosemary,Êlavender and thyme) was from the gardens of Hillsborough Castle. His two-day visit to Northern Ireland began in Belfast earlier on Tuesday. The Prince of Wales in the Memorial Garden. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th June 2018 - The Prince of Wales has visited the Memorial Garden in Omagh Town Centre where a floral tribute was laid.ÊÊ The wreath of white roses and herbs of remembrance (rosemary,Êlavender and thyme) was from the gardens of Hillsborough Castle. His two-day visit to Northern Ireland began in Belfast earlier on Tuesday. The Prince of Wales is pictured meeting Stanley McCombe who lost his wife Ann in the Omagh bombing. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
The Prince of Wales has visited the Omagh Hospital and Community Care Complex in County Tyrone. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
The Prince of Wales has visited the Omagh Hospital and Community Care Complex in County Tyrone. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
The Prince of Wales is presented with flowers by local school children as he visits Omagh Hospital as part of his tour of Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 13, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales greets the nurses in the palliative care unit as he visits Omagh Hospital as part of his tour of Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 13, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meets Mary Shields in the palliative care unit as he visits Omagh Hospital as part of his tour of Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 13, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meets palliative care patient John Black as he visits Omagh Hospital as part of his tour of Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 13, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meets nurse Leonie McCaffrey and dialysis patient Eaimie Gormley as he visits Omagh Hospital as part of his tour of Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 13, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meets Mary Shields in the palliative care unit as he visits Omagh Hospital as part of his tour of Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 13, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales has visited the Omagh Hospital and Community Care Complex in County Tyrone. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
The Prince of Wales has visited the Omagh Hospital and Community Care Complex in County Tyrone. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
The Prince of Wales has visited the Omagh Hospital and Community Care Complex in County Tyrone. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
The Prince of Wales has visited the Omagh Hospital and Community Care Complex in County Tyrone. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
OMAGH, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 13: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive to mark the 20th anniversary of the Omagh bombing at Memorial Garden and Strule Arts Centre on June 13, 2018 in Omagh, Northern Ireland. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are paying a four day visit to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Omagh Bomb memorial as part of their tour of Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 13, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
OMAGH, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 13: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are presented with a bunny rabbit by Matilda Callaghan on the exact spot of the Omagh bombing at Memorial Garden and Strule Arts Centre on June 13, 2018 in Omagh, Northern Ireland. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are paying a four day visit to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
The Prince of Wales looks at a power driver as he puts screws into an ornamental wheelbarrow during a visit to the Owenkillew Community Centre in Gortin, as part of his tour of Northern Ireland with the Duchess of Cornwall. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 13, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales uses a power driver to put screws into an ornamental wheelbarrow during a visit to the Owenkillew Community Centre in Gortin, as part of his tour of Northern Ireland with the Duchess of Cornwall. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 13, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Sinn Fein leadership met with Prince Charles during his visit to the Republic of Ireland on Thursday.

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald and Vice President Michelle O’Neill had a private meeting with the Prince in Cork, which lasted over thirty minutes.

Prince Charles was in Cork on Thursday following a visit to Northern Ireland on Tuesday and Wednesday.

As part of his visit he joined naval students at the National Maritime College of Ireland near Cork for the trip down memory lane.

Earlier in the day Prince Charles addressed an audience of local politicians, business people and civic leaders at Cork City Hall.

The Prince of Wales said the good relations the UK and Ireland have enjoyed in recent years will survive as the two nations resolve “shared challenges”.

Speaking following the private meeting Ms McDonald TD said she was glad to avail of the opportunity to extend the hand of friendship of those in Ireland who identify as British.

“Today’s meeting was an opportunity to extend the hand of friendship, not just to Prince Charles or to the British Royal family - whose efforts to promote reconciliation I want to acknowledge - but to those on our island who identify as British, and who are British," the TD said.

"As I have stated previously, the Ireland I want to be part of building is a county where one can comfortably be Irish or British, both or neither.

“All identities and traditions on our island must be respected.

The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Sinn Fein MLA Caral Ni Chuilin as her colleague Gerry Kelly (left) looks on at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast, where Charles is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building as a permanent home for the Ulster Orchestra. (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)
The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Sinn Fein MLA Caral Ni Chuilin as her colleague Gerry Kelly (left) looks on at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast, where Charles is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building as a permanent home for the Ulster Orchestra. (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)
The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast where he is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building as a permanent home for the Ulster Orchestra. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales arrives at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast where he is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building as a permanent home for the Ulster Orchestra (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)
The Prince of Wales and Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle, founder of the Belfast Buildings Trust, arrive at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast where he is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building as a permanent home for the Ulster Orchestra. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales sits alongside Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle, founder of the Belfast Buildings Trust, at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast where he is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building as a permanent home for the Ulster Orchestra. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales greets people at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast where he is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building as a permanent home for the Ulster Orchestra. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales arrives at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast where he is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building as a permanent home for the Ulster Orchestra. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales holds a glass of beer as he meets representatives of the ABVFest beer festival at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast where he is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building, which hosts the festival. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meets representatives of the ABVFest beer festival at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast where he is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building, which hosts the festival. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meets members of the Ulster Orchestra at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast where he is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building as a permanent home for the orchestra. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales samples a special brew created for the ABVFest beer festival at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast where he is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building, which hosts the festival. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast where he is meeting the organisations involved in the regeneration of the building as a permanent home for the Ulster Orchestra. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales watches a Judo demonstration during a visit to Ulster University in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, to help celebrate its 50th anniversary. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
COLERAINE, COUNTY LONDONERRY - JUNE 12: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is treated to a judo display during a visit to Ulster University's Colraine Campus on June 12, 2018 in County Londonderry, United Kingdom. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are paying a four day visit to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
The Prince of Wales meets staff and students during his visit to Ulster University in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, to help celebrate its 50th anniversary. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meets staff and students during his visit to Ulster University in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, to help celebrate its 50th anniversary. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales meets staff and students during his visit to Ulster University in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, to help celebrate its 50th anniversary. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
COLERAINE, COUNTY LONDONERRY - JUNE 12: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales speaks with children engaged in sporting activities during a visit to Ulster University's Colraine Campus on June 12, 2018 in County Londonderry, United Kingdom. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are paying a four day visit to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
COLERAINE, COUNTY LONDONERRY - JUNE 12: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets wheelchair basketball players during a visit to Ulster University's Colraine Campus on June 12, 2018 in County Londonderry, United Kingdom. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are paying a four day visit to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
The Prince of Wales visits Ulster University in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, to help celebrate its 50th anniversary. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

“This is about building on the courageous work of Martin McGuinness and others."

Ms McDonald said such gestures could help people to move on from the conflict.

“The conflict in our country caused great suffering and pain," she said.

“The past has fostered distrust on all sides of political discourse across the island.

“That is the reality, but in extending the hand of friendship we can help to build a better future for all. We are on an ongoing journey of building trust.

“The past may inform who we are, but it cannot define where we are going."

Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O'Neill
Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O'Neill

The Sinn Fein President said she and and Northern Ireland counterpart Michelle O'Neill were committed to gestures of friendship to the unionist community.

“Acknowledging the loss of victims and families on the basis of equality and respect for each other is essential.

“Reconciling difference, dealing with the past, challenging sectarian attitudes and working together to find common ground are how we move our society forward.

“As a political leaders Michelle O'Neill and I are committed to playing our parts in that work and I want to extend the hand of friendship to our unionist brothers and sisters this evening.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph