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TRH in Northern Ireland: Day Two

22nd May 2015

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall leave Mount Stewart House in County Down to tour the Gardens

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall leave Mount Stewart Housen in County Down to tour the Garden

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall continued their two day visit to Northern Ireland today. 

During the final day of their visit Their Royal Highnesses toured Mount Stewart, a National Trust property in County Down, which has undergone an £8 million refurbishment.

The Prince of Wales used a ceremonial sword to cut the cake at the official re-opening of one of Northern Ireland's most famous houses.

The house, on the shores of Strangford Lough is home to Lady Rose Loritzen, a distant cousin of The Duchess, whose family have lived there since the 18th Century.

 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall tour the Gardens and talk to workers at Mount Stewart House in County Down

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall tour the Gardens talking to workers at Mount Stewart House in County Down

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Afterwards, Lady Rose said Their Royal Highnesses had been particularly impressed with the enhanced art collection which included paintings of The Duchess's ancestors.

She said: "They were very impressed.

"They really liked the house. His Royal Highness has been here before the restoration and I think he was really impressed.

"The Duchess sadly, couldn't come the last time so it was the first time Her Royal Highness had seen it and she loved it.”

 

Their Royal Highnesses then visited Corrymeela in County Antrim, Northern Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation centre. The Corrymeela Centre opened its doors 50 years ago and sees around 11,000 people a year at its residential centre in Ballycastle, Co Antrim.

Corrymeela was founded by Ray Davey and students from Queens University Belfast in 1965 and its work was quickly shaped by the bloodshed of the conflict.

It uses dialogue, experiential play, art, storytelling, mealtimes and shared community to help groups embrace difference and learn how to have difficult conversations.

It works alongside visiting university groups as well as groups from other parts of the world who wish to learn from its experience, and learn how to apply the "Corrymeela lens" to fractures in their own societies.

Their Royal Highnesses toured the Croi, which means heart in Irish, a place within the centre which is designed to encourage listening. 

The Prince of Wales said during a speech: “By our shared wounds and scars we can I hope, I pray, share healing and a friendship made all the stronger for the trials it has overcome.”

A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at the Corrymeela Community, Northern Ireland

Published on 22nd May 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My wife and I are enormously touched to have been invited to visit you all here, at Corrymeela. IN my case it's paticularly special to be able to come back after all these years. I have such happy memories of my visit here in 1998 which was of course a landmark year in the history of our islands.  Of all places, the Corrymeela Community reminds us of the patient and painful work that must be done to heal the divisions that have, in the past, brought such sorrow to this most beautiful part of the world.  Therefore, it is particularly special to be here now in your Golden Anniversary year and to see at first-hand all that you have achieved as qui oyou seek to engage in what have been called "uncomfortable conversations".  It is a great tribute to your tireless work that you have been so successful in encouraging dialogue as a means of healing and in discovering respectful ways of addressing hard issues - issues which have left none of us unaffected.

Indeed, Corrymeela is a beneficiary of the fund set up in memory of my godson, Nicholas Knatchbull, who was killed at Mullaghmore in 1979 along with his grandfather and my beloved great uncle, Lord Mountbatten, his young friend, Paul Maxwell, and his grandmother, the Dowager Lady Brabourne.

Our visit to Sligo this week allowed my wife and I to spend time in a place which the victims of that tragedy held so dear, and also to attend, at Drumcliff Church, an immensely moving service of reconciliation for the hurts of the past, which have been suffered, as you and I know all t ...

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