Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Royal Visit.

Bertie Ahern

Question:

5 Mr. B. Ahern asked the Taoiseach if he will make a statement on the planned visit of Prince Charles to this country. [88244/95]

As the Deputy is aware, the Prince of Wales intends to visit Ireland in the near future. Details of the visit will be announced at the appropriate time.

The Government warmly welcomes the visit, which symbolises the close and friendly relations between the peoples of these two islands. As is well known, the Prince has had a long-standing wish to visit this country. I have no doubt that his visit will be very successful and that he will be very well received by the Irish people.

As leader of the Fianna Fáil Party I welcome the visit. Will the Taoiseach keep the Opposition Parties informed of developments? During our EC Presidency Prince Charles informed a number of us of his wish to visit Ireland but needless to say the security considerations would not have allowed it at that stage. There is no pressure of that nature on this occasion and I am sure the Taoiseach will keep us informed of the programmes as they develop in the weeks ahead.

I will do so as far as possible. Obviously there are security considerations to be taken into account in regard to the disclosure of details.

Will the Taoiseach organise suitable investment and tourism events and initiatives surrounding the visit given its historic nature and I suggest that this should be not just a political visit but a solid working visit also?

I will bear that in mind.

I hope the proposed visit of the Prince of Wales will be a social visit and when the Taoiseach's Department is arranging the events for the Prince of Wales will be consider arranging some dancing so that female Members can tell their children they danced with the Prince of Wales?

I thought that was a reference to a previous Prince of Wales. I am not sure if there will be dancing but there certainly will be merriment.