20 May 2015

Prince Charles to visit scene of Mountbatten’s death

Prince Charles is due to visit the scene of his great uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten’s death today as his tour of Ireland continues.

Prince Charles is due to visit the scene of his great uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten’s death today as his tour of Ireland continues.

The Prince of Wales and Camilla will meet some of those who were in the County Sligo seaside village Mullaghmore on the day of the atrocity and others who pulled survivors and bodies from the Atlantic. They will also attend a prayer service for peace and reconciliation in nearby Drumcliffe.

Ahead of the visit, Ireland’s foreign affairs minister Charlie Flanagan said he hopes it will bring further healing for all communities affected by the 30-year Northern Ireland conflict.

“This afternoon will bring, I hope, further healing as we all reflect on those dark moments across these islands that cast a shadow across cities and towns such as Belfast and Birmingham, Derry and Dublin, Warrenpoint and Warrington, as well as here in Sligo and nearby Enniskillen and Monaghan,” Mr Flanagan said.

“As you travel up the Sligo coast today to an ecumenical service of reconciliation at Drumcliffe and onwards to beautiful Mullaghmore, you will see just why Lord Mountbatten loved the harbour and its community so much.”

Lord Mountbatten, the 79-year-old cousin of the Queen, was targeted by the IRA as he set off with family and a local boy to gather lobster pots and fish for shrimp 600 yards from the harbour of the normally peaceful fishing village in 1979.

The earl was killed along with Lady Doreen Brabourne, the 83-year-old mother-in-law of the earl’s daughter, his 14-year-old grandson Nicholas Knatchbull, and teenager Paul Maxwell, from Killynure, Enniskillen.

The Prince’s poignant visit follows the historic handshake with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams in Galway yesterday (above).

It also follows the publication of a batch of his letters to government ministers, which led to criticism that Charles had violated the convention of royal political neutrality. He refused to answer when asked by Channel 4 News’ Political Correspondent Michael Crick if he had behaved unconstitutionally in writing the letters.

Charles will also look around the peace garden in Mullaghmore, before a private engagement in the Pier Head Hotel where the bodies of the dead and injured were treated once ashore. John Maxwell, who lost his son in the attack, is expected to be there.

The royals will also have the chance to visit the burial site of Irish poet WB Yeats in the church cemetery and under the shadow of Benbulben and plant a tree in the grounds.

Other engagements include a view of the Niland Art Collection and music and poetry recitals to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Yeats’ birth.
Charles will also visit Sligo Institute of Technology and an evening in Sligo races.