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Remarks by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D.
Visit of TRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Kilkenny, 11 May 2017
Civic Reception, Kilkenny Castle
Your Royal Highnesses,
A Chathaoirleach, members of Kilkenny County Council, Minister Canney,
It gives me great pleasure on behalf of the Government to welcome the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Ireland, and indeed to Kilkenny, on this their third visit to Ireland in as many years.
Having spent the last two visits touring the North West and parts of the Wild Atlantic Way, I am delighted that you have chosen to explore some of “Ireland’s Ancient East” for this year’s visit. Steeped in medieval history, Kilkenny is a vibrant city with so much to offer, some of which you have witnessed on your way here this morning - the weekly Farmers’ market, Kilkenny’s renowned and greatly respected hurling “Cats” and its wonderful culture and food. As a close neighbour in County Laois, I am personally delighted that Your Royal Highnesses have on this occasion chosen to visit this beautiful and very historic part of the country.
While Kilkenny is known for its history, it also has a world class reputation for design and creativity; it includes the combination of craftsmanship and technology at the Award-winning Cartoon Saloon and the passing on of traditional craft skills at Grennan Mill Craft School in Thomastown, both of which you will see later.
Your visit to Sligo and Galway in 2015 was an important step in our shared journey to peace and reconciliation. We continue on this journey together, including tomorrow at Glasnevin cemetery where you will take part in two ceremonies that will honour those who died in the First World War and the all of those who lost their lives during the 1916 Rising. This act of respectful memory represents a further enhancement of relations between our two countries as close friends and neighbours, even as both seek to manage contemporary challenges in changing times.
Later today, in the Curragh, you will see these good relations put into practical effect in a collaborative programme at the UN Training School. Here, in a programme provided by Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT), civilians, and British and Irish military personnel, will be working and training together, developing capacity for multi-agency emergency planning and emergency response.
Your Royal Highnesses:
The close ties between our countries have been solidified in recent years by reciprocal State Visits and I know that you will have had a chance to further enhance these ties during the time you both spent with President and Sabina Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday.
I hope that you both get a chance to soak up some of the atmosphere that makes Kilkenny city one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, with this magnificent Kilkenny Castle at its heart. I am delighted that you will also have an opportunity while here to engage with the Heritage Council with whom I know you share many interests and concerns.
On behalf of the Irish Government I want formally extend our “cead mile failte” to you both and to assure you of a sincere and warm welcome to whatever part of Ireland you visit in the future.
I would like now to invite you Prince Charles, to address the audience gathered here today.
Ladies and gentlemen…..His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales.