His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has arrived in Northern Ireland and is visiting the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) Annual Show at the King’s Hall Complex, Belfast.
On arrival HRH was greeted by the Dame Mary Peters DBE Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast and went on to meet Dr Malcolm McKibbin, Permanent Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Mr Robin Morrow, President, RUAS, Mr John Bamber, Chairman, Finance Committee, RUAS and Mr Colin McDonald, Chief Executive, RUAS.
In the President’s Suite HRH met the Chairman and members of the Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS) and following a few words of welcome from Mr Cyril Davies, Chairman, CARAS, HRH accepted an invitation to present a number of CARAS Awards.
Moving to the Balmoral Hall The Prince of Wales accompanied by Dr McKibbin, viewed Forestry, College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Rural Development and Farming Charities Exhibition stands.
His Royal Highness then visited the Sheep Fold area and met a number of livestock exhibitors, judges and stewards at the North Country Cheviots sheep judging event. His Royal Highness was invited by Mr Roy Graham, Sheep Chief Steward to present the prize to the Breed Champion.
In the nearby Alexander Hall The Prince met modern and traditional pig exhibitors including members of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Later in the Londonderry Hall HRH met a number of cattle exhibitors and viewed the cattle lines.
In the Garden Village His Royal Highness had the opportunity to view the Flower arranging, Bee Keeping and Young Farmers Club (YFC) exhibits.
At the Ulster Bank Pavilion HRH met Mr Henry Elvin, Head of Business Banking and senior Ulster Bank officials and discussed the financial issues within the farming sector before meeting Dr David Dobbin CBE, Chief Executive, United Diary Farmers at the United Diary Farmers stand.
Later in the Food Village HRH viewed a number of the exhibits and met exhibitors before moving to the Royal Stand where Mr Bamber RUAS Finance Chairman presented the sponsors of the P&O Irish Sea International Two Phase International Show Jumping Event. HRH took the opportunity to view the closing stages of the Show Jumping and was invited to present the prize to the competition winner.
In the Royal Stand HRH met around 40 guests representing the Platinum Sponsors, Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), past-RUAS Presidents, Agricultural and Northern Ireland Assembly Rural Development Committee, during a reception.
His Royal Highness accepted an invitation from Mr Robin Morrow, President , RUAS to sign the visitors book prior to departure.