Prince Charles meets Sinn Fein leader
REUTERS PhotoPrince Charles offered a historic handshake on May 19to Gerry Adams, longtime leader of the Irish nationalist Sinn Fein party and reputedly an Irish Republican Army commander when the outlawed group killed the prince’s great-uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, in 1979.
The peacemaking gesture marked the first time that Adams, Sinn Fein’s leader since 1983, had ever met a member of the British royal family. The two men, both 66, clasped hands for several seconds in a crowded reception hall at the National University of Ireland in Galway. Their meeting came at the start of Charles’ four-day trip to the Republic of Ireland and the neighboring British territory of Northern Ireland.
Adams twice leaned in closely to Charles to speak into his ear as both men smiled amid a flurry of camera flashes. He and Charles later had a 15-minute meeting away from the cameras, accompanied by Sinn Fein deputy leader Martin McGuinness and other party officials.