Charles meets former IRA bomber
THE Prince of Wales has shaken hands with former IRA bomber and Sinn Fein Stormont Assembly member Gerry Kelly during a visit to Belfast.
Mr Kelly escaped from Northern Ireland’s highsecurity Maze Prison in 1983 while serving a jail sentence for the 1973 bombing of the Old Bailey. He became a senior republican negotiator ahead of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and has embraced the peace process for decades, serving as a minister in the powersharing executive.
Mr Kelly said: “This is about outreach and it was a deliberate act to come down.
“No better place to do it than north Belfast, a very mixed area often described as a microcosm of the difficulties or characteristics of the whole of the north.
“It is a patchwork quilt of communities.”
North Belfast was the scene of multiple sectarian killings during the 30-year conflict and part of it was once dubbed “murder mile”.
Charles began a two-day trip to Northern Ireland yesterday.
He has previously met former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, offering condolences on the death of ex-Stormont deputy first minister Martin McGuinness.