Prince Charles snubbed by N. Irish mayor over Bloody Sunday massacre
Sinn Féin Councillor and Mayor Maolíosa McHugh said in a statement he would not meet the Prince due to his role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment, whose soldiers were responsible for the Bloody Sunday shootings in Derry in January 1972.
A total of 14 people were killed during the incident, in which British paratroopers opened fire on a civil-rights march in the city.
“Today’s visit to Derry by Prince Charles is difficult for many families in the city, given his ongoing role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment,” McHugh said, according to the BBC.
“While I have supported meetings between Sinn Féin and members of the British royal family, I believe that meeting him in Derry is premature given the ongoing and unresolved sensitivities around the legacy of the massacre carried out by that Regiment.”
A long-running public inquiry found that the killings were unjustified and that the deceased had posed no threat when they were shot.
Prosecutors in Northern Ireland are currently assessing whether to charge 18 former soldiers in connection with the events on Bloody Sunday. They are also due to examine files of evidence relating to two former IRA members.
Prince Charles began his visit in Eglinton, where he met residents who had been forced out of their homes by flooding. He also met farmers and business owners who were affected.
The Prince is due to visit Drumahoe, an area also badly affected by the flooding, and meet with representatives from the emergency services.
Almost two-thirds of the region’s average monthly rain fell in a single night on August 22.