Prince Harry arrives in the North for first official visit

Prince Harry arrives in the North for first official visit

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Prince Harry

Prince Harry has arrived in Northern Ireland for his first official visit.

The 32-year-old will meet members of the leading peace-building charity in Ireland. Co-operation Ireland has worked for almost 40 years to build a shared and cohesive society within the North and across the Irish border.

In 2012 it hosted a historic and highly symbolic handshake between late Sinn Fein deputy first minister and life-long republican Martin McGuinness and the Queen. The organisation’s aim is to promote dialogue and practical collaboration within Northern Ireland and with the Republic of Ireland.

The Prince of Wales has made a series of visits to both parts of the island in an effort to promote reconciliation. Earlier this year he paid tribute to those who fought for Irish freedom in the 1916 Rising, laying a wreath at a memorial to those who died.

Mr McGuinness’s former partner in government and ex-Stormont first minister Peter Robinson sits on the board of Co-operation Ireland. Harry will meet a range of youth organisations from across Northern Ireland during the event at an arts centre in the town.

He will hear about a peace-building initiative which empowers young people across the North to become ambassadors for peace within their communities, as well as details of Northern Ireland’s national citizenship service.

The Prince is also expected to open a new £5.6 million Northern Ireland Ambulance Service station in Ballymena, Co Antrim, and watch demonstrations of emergency responses. He will conclude his visit with a garden party at the Queen’s official residence in Northern Ireland, Hillsborough Castle.

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