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We’ve found a new path to shared prosperity and security, Charles tells Ireland

Press Association logoPress Association 14/06/2018 By Tony Jones, David Young and Aoife-Grace Moore, Press Association, in Cork, Ireland
Royal visit to Republic of Ireland: The Prince of Wales speaking during a civic reception at Cork City Hall (Brian Lawless/PA) © Provided by The Press Association The Prince of Wales speaking during a civic reception at Cork City Hall (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Prince of Wales has said the good relations the UK and Ireland have enjoyed in recent years will survive as the two nations resolve “shared challenges”.

Charles made the prediction in a speech to mark his visit to Ireland, and is likely to be interpreted by commentators as partly referring to the Brexit problem of the Northern Ireland and Republic border.

The 2011 visit by the Queen to Ireland was seen as a watershed moment in Anglo-Irish relations, ushering in closer ties between the two nations as they reconciled their difficult shared histories.

The Prince of Wales aboard a simulator at the National Maritime College of Ireland as part of his tour of the Republic of Ireland. © Press Association The Prince of Wales aboard a simulator at the National Maritime College of Ireland as part of his tour of the Republic of Ireland.

But the Brexit issue of how to create a frictionless border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is proving a major stumbling block to Britain leaving the EU.

There are concerns that, if a hard border with infrastructure and guards returns, it could ultimately threaten the peace the north has enjoyed following the Good Friday Agreement.

The Duchess of Cornwall, Lady Mayoress of Cork Georgina Fitzgerald, the Prince of Wales and Lord Mayor of Cork Tony Fitzgerald at Cork City Hall (Brian Lawless/PA) © Press Association The Duchess of Cornwall, Lady Mayoress of Cork Georgina Fitzgerald, the Prince of Wales and Lord Mayor of Cork Tony Fitzgerald at Cork City Hall (Brian Lawless/PA)

Charles, who was joined by the Duchess of Cornwall, is making his fourth successive visit to Ireland and said of relations between the UK and the Republic: “With reconciliation and understanding as our guides, we have found a new path to shared prosperity and security, and we are determined that we must never lose our way again.

“If I may say so, this is precisely why I have felt it of such importance that we should keep coming to Ireland – to demonstrate, in whatever small way we can, just how vital and valuable the ties between our countries are to us all.”

Speaking at Cork City Hall to an audience of local politicians, business people and civic leaders, the prince said: “On each visit we have met so many unforgettable people who are doing such noteworthy things to strengthen that relationship, in almost every imaginable sphere.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney speaking during the civic reception at City Hall in Cork (Brian Lawless/PA) © Press Association Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney speaking during the civic reception at City Hall in Cork (Brian Lawless/PA)

“I therefore have nothing but the greatest confidence that the friendship, collaboration and mutual understanding that Ireland and the United Kingdom have enjoyed over recent years will endure, as we work together to find solutions to shared challenges and as our relationship evolves in the months and years ahead.”

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