Prince Charles speaks about 'deep loss' after IRA killed his relative in Sligo

Prince Charles meets soem schoolchildren on Day 2 of his visit to Ireland
Prince Charles meets soem schoolchildren on Day 2 of his visit to Ireland

The Prince of Wales has said he feels the pain of other victims of the 30-year conflict on the island of Ireland.

On what is set to be an emotional day on his trip to the site where his great-uncle was assassinated, Charles said people in Ireland and Britain need no longer be victims of a different history.

Charles made the remarks at The Model arts centre in Sligo ahead of a peace and reconciliation prayer service in nearby Drumcliffe and the poignant visit to Mullaghmore where Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed by the IRA on August 27 1979.

The prince will meet rescuers and locals who were in the seaside beauty spot when the earl was murdered with three others, including his teenage grandson and a local boy, in a bomb attack.

"We all have regrets, as my mother said in Dublin Castle 'with the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we wish had been done differently or not at all'," Charles said.

"I'm only too deeply aware of the long history of suffering which Ireland has endured, not just in recent decades but over the years of its history.

"It's a history that I know has caused much pain and resentment in a world of imperfect human beings where it is always too easy to over-generalise and attribute blame."

Mullaghmore has remained synonymous with IRA terrorism and the 30-year conflict since the horrific attack.

The earl, who holidayed for decades at nearby Classiebawn Castle, was blown up onboard the pleasure boat Shadow V after he set out from the harbour along the Atlantic coast to pick lobster pots and fish.

Three others were murdered - Lady Doreen Brabourne, 83, the mother-in-law of Mountbatten's daughter died one day later, Nicholas Knatchbull, the earl's grandson and aged only 14, and Paul Maxwell, a local boy from Killynure, Enniskillen, who had worked on preparing the royal boat for fishing and was only 15.

Charles said: "At the time I could not imagine how we would come to terms with the magnitude of such a deep loss.

"Through this dreadful experience I now understand in a perfect way the agonies borne by others on these islands of whatever faith or political persuasion."

The prince said he would attend the peace and reconciliation service in Drumcliffe where WB Yeats is buried and he recalled a verse by the poet who wrote "and I shall have some peace there, peace comes dropping slowly".

"As a grandfather myself I pray that his words can apply to all those who have been so hurt and scarred by the troubles of the past so that all of us, all of us who inhabit these Atlantic islands may leave our grandchildren a lasting legacy of peace, forgiveness and friendship."