Adams McGuinness
Gerry Adams, president of the Irish republican party Sinn Féin, and Martin McGuinness, deputy first minister of Northern IrelandAFP

Prince Charles is to meet Gerry Adams, the president of the pro-Republican Sinn Féin Party, when he starts a royal visit to Ireland on Tuesday 19 May.

The Galway meeting will be the first in the Republic of Ireland between the Sinn Féin leadership and a member of the British Royal Family.

Sinn Féin chairman Declan Kearney said it was to promote "reconciliation and healing", adding that both Adams and Martin McGuinness, the party's deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, would be meeting the prince.

Charles
Prince Charles is to meet leaders of Sinn Féin in IrelandAid to the Church in Need

"This was agreed to promote the process of resolving past injustices and promoting reconciliation and healing," he said.

In 2012, McGuinness, a former IRA commander, met the Queen in Belfast in his role as Northern Ireland's deputy first minister in an historic meeting.

Charles will be joined by the Duchess of Cornwall, and will visit the village of Mullaghmore, County Sligo, where his great-uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, was killed by an IRA bomb in 1979.

Adams said: "Prince Charles is the colonel-in-chief of the Parachute Regiment - a regiment of the British army that has been responsible for the killing of many Irish citizens including in Derry, Ballymurphy, Springhill and other communities across the north.

"But he also has been bereaved by the actions of republicans.

"Thankfully, the conflict is over, but there remain unresolved injustices. These must be rectified and a healing process developed.

"There is a responsibility on us all to promote reconciliation and seek to promote healing."