Charles and Camilla to visit site of Mountbatten assassination

Visit: Charles and Camilla at a welcoming ceremony at NUIG yesterday
Visit: Charles and Camilla at a welcoming ceremony at NUIG yesterday

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's trip to Ireland will take an emotional turn today when they visit the site where a royal was assassinated.

The royals will travel to Mullaghmore, Co Sligo where Louis Mountbatten was murdered by the IRA along with three others when terrorists detonated a bomb on his boat on August 27, 1979.

After a prayer service for peace and reconciliation in nearby Drumcliffe, Charles will meet some of those who were in the seaside village on the day of the atrocity and others who pulled survivors and bodies from the Atlantic.

Lord Mountbatten, the 79-year-old cousin of the Queen, was targeted by the IRA as he set off with family and a local boy to gather lobster pots and fish for shrimp 600 yards from the harbour of the normally peaceful fishing village of Mullaghmore, Co Sligo.

The earl was murdered along with Lady Doreen Brabourne, the 83-year-old mother-in-law of the earl's daughter, his 14-year-old grandson Nicholas Knatchbull, and teenager Paul Maxwell, from Killynure, Enniskillen.

On arrival in Mullaghmore Charles will meet local people and look around the peace garden in the village before a private engagement in the Pier Head Hotel where the bodies of the dead and injured were treated once ashore.

John Maxwell, who lost his son in the attack, is expected to be there.

The raw return to a renowned beauty spot will follow prayers at St Columba's Church with the theme of peace and reconciliation.

The royals will also have the chance to visit the burial site of Irish poet WB Yeats in the church cemetery and under the shadow of Benbulben and plant a tree in the grounds.

Other engagements include a view of the Niland Art Collection and music and poetry recitals to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Yeats' birth.

Charles will also visit Sligo Institute of Technology and an evening in Sligo races.