THE Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were welcomed as they arrived in Ireland by Shannon Group Chairman Rose Hynes, CEO Neil Pakey, Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen and Deputy Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Joe Cooney.
Ms Hynes said that she took the opportunity to congratulate them on the birth of Princess Charlotte earlier this month.
“We were delighted to welcome the Prince and Duchess here to Shannon and it was another very important day for us at the airport. Prince Charles was very relaxed and was looking forward to his visit.
“He was very friendly and warm. He was only here for a brief time on arrival but I did get to congratulate him on the birth of his granddaughter Princess Charlotte. He was like any grandfather, very proud. He said ‘that’s so kind; it’s wonderful that it’s a girl’.”
Prince Charles also noted in the conversation his desire to see the Burren. “I explained to him that I was from the Burren and he said that the author and poet John O’Donoghue had always wanted him to come to the Burren. I knew John O’Donoghue personally and said to Prince Charles that John would be delighted today if he were still alive to know that the visit was happening.”
Shannon Group CEO Neil Pakey said the couple were in a relaxed mood. “Both Prince Charles and the Duchess seemed very pleased to be here. Prince Charles was, in particular, looking forward to getting a look at the Cliffs of Moher as he flies up to Galway. He though it would be a wonderful view from the air.
“It was quite windy here on arrival but the Duchess said she was pleased to be here and that the weather was no different to home.
“It’s been a very busy few days here at Shannon. On Sunday we welcomed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and today we have the Prince and Duchess.”
Deputy Pat Breen said that it was a pleasure to welcome Prince Charles and the Duchess to Shannon and Ireland. “It’s a very significant day for Shannon, for Clare, for the West of Ireland and the entire nation. This is an important visit for Prince Charles and the Duchess and, indeed, for Ireland.
“I am delighted that they have decided to fly in through Shannon, the gateway to this wonderful part of Ireland. They will feel the warmth of our welcome across the region. This visit will further strengthen relations between Ireland and the UK and I am personally delighted that it’s all starting here in Co. Clare at Shannon Airport.”