Martin Mcguinness

Reconciliation is the only way to peace

May 19, 2015 | Nick Taylor

The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace welcomes the meeting between Prince Charles and Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams alongside other Irish political leaders when he visits the National University of Ireland, Galway later today – Tuesday 19th May 2015.

The visit is set embrace the theme of peace and reconciliation but will also include some key meetings and difficult conversations.

The Prince will visit Mullaghmore, County Sligo where his great uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed in an IRA bomb in 1979. The visit is likely to be criticised by some victims and justice groups; and will also face protests from some, including relatives of civilians killed in Ballymurphy in August 1971. The Prince is colonel-in-chief of the Parachute Regiment who opened fire in Ballymurphy and also have been held responsible for the deaths at ‘Bloody Sunday’ in DerryLondonderry in 1972.

Declan Kearney, the Sinn Féin party’s national chairman, said: “This (meeting) was agreed to promote the process of resolving past injustices and promoting reconciliation and healing.”

Sinn Féin also confirmed that Martin McGuinness, who has met the Queen, will be meeting the Prince at a different time on the tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Colin Parry, Chairman of the Foundation said: “I applaud the meeting as it is another step on the road to normalising relations between the British state and Sinn Féin.

“Some people may see it as a step too far. My wife and I don’t forgive the IRA for killing Tim, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t do things that contribute to the peace process.”

“We must keep the process moving in the right direction as that is the only way peace is possible. There is no going back – we need these kind of meetings.”

The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace was established two decades ago following an IRA bombing that killed Tim and Johnathan. The charity set up in their memory operates the UK Survivors Assistance Network supporting victims of international terrorism and is a specialist in countering extremism through education. The Foundation for Peace work is supported by the Irish Government to promote reconciliation across our islands.