The meeting lasted over 30 minutes

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has held a private meeting with Britain's Prince Charles in Cork.

The meeting, which lasted over 30 minutes, was also attended by the party's deputy leader Michelle O'Neill.

Speaking following the meeting earlier, Ms McDonald said: "Today's meeting was an opportunity to extend the hand of friendship, not just to Prince Charles or to the British royal family - whose efforts to promote reconciliation I want to acknowledge - but to those on our island who identify as British, and who are British.

"As I have stated previously, the Ireland I want to be part of building is a county where one can comfortably be Irish or British, both or neither.

"All identities and traditions on our island must be respected. This is about building on the courageous work of Martin McGuinness and others.

"The conflict in our country caused great suffering and pain. The past has fostered distrust on all sides of political discourse across the island.

The late Martin McGuinness famously shook the hand of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast in 2012 | Image:

"That is the reality, but in extending the hand of friendship we can help to build a better future for all. We are on an ongoing journey of building trust.

"The past may inform who we are, but it cannot define where we are going."

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are on a two day visit to Cork and Kerry.