An anticipated historic meeting between Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and Prince Charles has been hailed in some quarters as the next phase in deepening the bonds between the UK and Ireland.
The meeting with Mr Adams will take place before Prince Charles visits the site of his great-uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten's murder and is a way of "promoting reconciliation and healing", according to a Sinn Fein party official.
Lord Mountbatten was assassinated by the IRA 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 14-year-old Paul Maxwell, from Killynur, Enniskillen in 1979.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is expected to meet Prince Charles in what would be an historic meeting in Ireland. It is understood that Mr Adams is among guests expected to meet the Prince tomorrow as he begins his four-day tour of Ireland.
The Prince of Wales begins an emotional and historic trip to the west of Ireland where his great uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten was assassinated by the IRA. One of the most poignants stops on the official four day visit to the Republic and Northern Ireland will be on Wednesday when Prince Charles arrives in Mullaghmore, Co Sligo, the site of the atrocity.
All of Ireland's main political leaders have been invited to National University Ireland Galway but the prospect of the visit beginning with the first meeting of a royal and a Sinn Fein leader in the Irish Republic will undoubtedly set the tone.
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Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has confirmed his party will attend some events when the Prince of Wales visits Ireland for four days this week.
The move was widely expected given the recent thawing in relations between the republican party and the Royals, beginning with the Queen's historic handshake with former IRA commander Martin McGuinness in Belfast in 2012.
Mr Adams said his party's governing Ard Chomhairle had agreed that representatives should attend events which will see Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall fulfil engagements on both sides of the border.
This week's Royal visit will provide another highly symbolic moment when Charles visits the scene of Lord Mountbatten's murder by the IRA in 1979.
The Royal couple will tour Mullaghmore in Co Sligo where his great-uncle and godfather was killed by a booby trap bomb while on a fishing holiday.
Prince Charles is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment. A regiment of the British Army that has been responsible for killing of many Irish citizens...
But he also has been bereaved by the actions of republicans. Thankfully the conflict is over. But there remains unresolved injustices. These must be rectified and a healing process developed.
There is a responsibility on us all to promote reconciliation and seek to promote healing.
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