herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Trip to the Burren is a dream come true

TOUR

PRINCE Charles fulfilled a lifelong wish with a trip to the Burren in Co Clare.

After spending almost an hour at the historic site, taking in the landscape and even helping to build a stone wall, he told local farmers: "I've spent my life thinking about this."

The Prince met with local farmers including Pat Nagle (67) and his son Oliver (42) who farm a 70-acre holding at the Burren.

During the visit the Prince, who has a keen interest in organic and sustainable farming methods, walked the terrain with the aid of a hazel stick made by a local farmer.

On his departure he was presented with three more sticks for his family, with Pat Nagle telling him: "When you're putting your cattle in your sheds think of us."

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"I've spent my life thinking about this," he replied.

Praising the locals for conserving the area, Prince Charles invited the Nagles to his farm in Highgrove to plant hedgerows.

But he was quickly informed by Pat that they were "stone men", adding the royal would have to look further east for hedgerows.

Oliver Nagle also raised a laugh from the Prince after a query about his siblings.

"He asked if my brothers were involved in the farming but I told him I keep my elbow down on them, there wasn't enough for all of us. He got a good giggle out of that, he knows all about succession," he added.

"This is a very proud day for us, for the generations of farmers who have worked the land of the Burren in the past, and for the youngsters that we hope will farm it in the years ahead," Mr Nagle said.

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