Prince of Wales welcomed the prospect of “a Northern Ireland Prime (sic) Cymru!”

So Northern Ireland had a look-in in the Prince of Wales” black spider” letters. This in a bread and butter letter to the then secretary of state Paul Murphy.

We discussed the issue of an Action-Learning Pilot Scheme which has remained in abeyance since last year, but which, if implemented, could help perhaps break the mould of housing “ghettoes” in Northern Ireland. You may remember that both Paul Murrain, from my Foundation, and John Thompson are ready to help with this whenever you give the word!

But what’s this?

 I was delighted to hear that good progress was being made in establishing a Northern Ireland version of Prime Cymru and that Julia Evans, the Chief Executive, was going to come over to talk to your officials. Hopefully, by the time of my next visit to the Province — and if I am still alive by then — I will be able to see heartening signs of progress in all these issues we discussed

What on earth is  a “Northern Ireland version of Prime ( sic) Cymru” and why have we never heard of it? Perhaps it drew back from entering a crowded field. Or perhaps he misunderstood what the Welsh minister was telling him about the SDLP?  Did nobody check for typos?

We know that he has a keen interest in conservation in Northern Ireland. For instance  the Prince’s  Trust  helped fund the restoration of the old Georgian houses in Magazine St in Derry . As I recalled a few years ago, Charles was roped into that by Paddy Bogside (Doherty) who played quite a part in the Battle of the Bogside in 1969. Paddy went on to head the Inner City Trust that helped restore the city centre after all the destruction that ensued.

In ten day’s time  Charles will also visit the North when he makes his no doubt emotional pilgrimage to the harbour  at  Mullaghmore  co Sligo where is great uncle Lord Mountbatten was  murdered  in 1979. He’ll also attend a service at Drumcliffe parish church where Yeats is buried.

Cast a cold Eye

On Life, On Death.

Horseman Pass by !

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London