Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Wessexes: Day II

Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex have begun a second day of engagements in the Province with a visit to the Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre and World Heritage site.

TRH were greeted by Mrs Joan Christie OBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, and went on to meet Mr Roy Bailie OBE, Chairman of the National Trust in Northern Ireland and Ms Hilary McGrady, Northern Ireland Director.

TRH then walked the short distance to the Causeway stones before returning to the Visitors’ Centre and joining a reception hosted by the National Trust in their honour. Guests included representatives from the Project Team and fund-raisers for the new Giant’s Causeway Visitor Facilities, and local National Trust staff and volunteers.

Mr Bailie offered a few words of welcome to TRH before inviting Mrs Biddy Carson, a National Trust volunteer and former tea-room manager at the Giant’s Causeway, to present gifts of a lithographic print of a painting of the Giant’s Causeway and a pack of National Trust Causeway Leaf Tea to the royal couple.

Departing from Ballycastle Harbour, TRH sailed to Rathlin Island and were accompanied by HM Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim; Mr Robert McIlroy, Vice-Chairman Moyle District Council; and Mr Richard Lewis, Chief Executive. TRH were welcomed ashore by Mr Noel McCurdy, chairman of Rathlin Community Development Association (RCDA) and Miss Marianne Green RCDA Youth Representative.

The royal couple attended a lunchtime reception in the nearby ‘Bruce’s Restaurant’and met a number of guests representing the varied community life on the island. TRH are expected to spend the afternoon touring the island.

1 comment :

Nevin said...

They drove the short distance to the Causeway. The welcoming party at the Giants Causeway also included DETI minister, Arlene Foster and Ian Paisley, the new MP for North Antrim.

The DRD was represented on Rathlin Island by Keith Walsh, a Principal Officer in the Ports and Transport Division.