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Sinn Fein leader expected to meet Prince Charles

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.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams expected to meet Prince Charles. Credit: PA

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.

Sinn Fein to attend events when Charles visits Ireland

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will spend four days in Ireland. Credit: Peter Byrne / PA Wire/PA Images

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.

– Gerry Adams


Members of public back Charles over letters to MPs

Members of the public have told ITV News they find Prince Charles' letters to MPs "helpful and sensible" and said "there's nothing wrong in what he's done at all".

For many people, it is not whether the monarch has the right to express his opinions, but if he should be allowed to influence government decisions.

ITV News Correspondent Damon Green reports:

Cameron: I have regular meetings with Prince Charles

David Cameron says he has had "relatively regular" meetings and correspondence with Prince Charles, adding: "I think the heir to the throne should have every right to write letters to government ministers or politicians."

Speaking to ITV Wales News, the Prime Minister described the Prince of Wales as a "man with huge passion about public life" and said "I hope he carries on having the strong views that he does".

He also said his government had made the "right" decision in amending the Freedom of Information Act to prevent future correspondence between the monarch and heirs to the throne being published.

Charles memos battle prompted change to FOI law

From the fate of the Patagonian Toothfish to preserving the memory of some of Britain's greatest explorers, Prince Charles touched upon a great number of varied issues in his now-public letters to Government ministers.

Lawmakers have taken the threat of today's publication seriously enough to amend the law around the Freedom of Information Act so correspondence from the monarch and the heir to the throne cannot be released in future.

ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies reports on the release of the memos - a culmination of a ten-year legal battle.

Charles faces accusations of 'meddling' as letters released

Prince Charles faces accusations of interference with government affairs after letters made public today showed him raising concerns on a number of issues with ministers, including Tony Blair.

Among the issues raised was an alleged lack of resources for troops on the front line in Iraq, as ITV News Royal Editor Tim Ewart reports.


Charles letter joked about Freedom of Information Act

Prince Charles referenced the freedom of information act in one letter to then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The use of the act by Guardian journalist Rob Evans instigated a decade-long legal battle for their eventual release.

The opening of a letter from Charles to Blair in 2005.

In his 2005 letter, Charles wrote: "I much enjoyed the opportunity to talk about a number of issues. You kindly suggested that it would be helpful if I put them in writing - despite the Freedom of Information Act!"

Charles urged Blair to support use of herbal medicines

Prince Charles called for regulation of herbal medicine in his 2005 letter.

The Prince of Wales urged Tony Blair to support the use of herbal medicines during his time as Prime Minister, further correspondence shows.

In a February 2005 letter, Prince Charles warned that an EU directive on the treatment was having "such a deleterious effect on the complementary medicine sector in this country by effectively outlawing the use of certain herbal extracts".

"I think we both agreed that this was using a sledgehammer to crack a nut," he added.

The legislation, which came into effect in 2011, meant only registered professionals such as doctors could prescribe manufactured herbal remedies.

Despite Charles regularly campaigning for UK regulation to ensure those reliant on herbal medicine were able to get it legally, no such laws have yet been introduced.

Guardian editor welcomes move to publish Charles letters

Alan Rusbridger Credit: PA Wire

The Editor in Chief of Guardian News & Media Alan Rusbridger has said he is pleased letters written by Prince Charles to Government ministers have been made public so that the public can "draw their own conclusions."

We fought this case because we believed - and the most senior judges in the country agreed - that the royal family should operate to the same degrees of transparency as anyone else trying to make their influence felt in public life.

The Attorney General, in trying to block the letters, said their contents could 'seriously damage' perceptions of the prince's political neutrality.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of that assessment, it is shocking that the Government wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money trying to prevent their publication.

Now, after 10 years, we are pleased to be able to share the contents of his correspondence and let people draw their own conclusions.

– Alan Rusbridger
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