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Prince Charles tries hand at hurling in Kilkenny

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Media captionPrince Charles tries hurling in Kilkenny

The Prince of Wales has tried his hand at hurling during a four-day visit to Ireland.

He and the Duchess of Cornwall enjoyed a demonstration of the ancient Irish sport at Kilkenny Castle.

Their visit to the Republic of Ireland, which followed a two-day stay in Northern Ireland, is at the request of the British government.

They later visited the Curragh Military Camp, where Irish UN peace-keeping soldiers are trained.

On Thursday morning, the Royals visited a farmers' market in Kilkenny, and they met some of the thousands of people who had lined the streets there.

They also attended a cartoon animation studio in Kilkenny, and a craft centre, before heading to County Kildare to the military camp.

The couple, who are being hosted by President Michael D Higgins, are also expected to attend a ceremony at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin to commemorate those who lost their lives in World War One and during the Easter Rising.

The Duchess will also visit the national stud and Japanese gardens.

'He kept it low'

At Kilkenny Castle, Prince Charles met former county hurler, Henry Shefflin - or 'King Henry', as he is known by locals.

Mr Shefflin gave the Prince a little instruction on how to hit the ball, before letting him try for himself.

Image copyright Press Association
Image caption Prince Charles watching a hurling demonstration at Kilkenny Castle

"He kept it low into the bottom of the net," he said. "But for the first go it was very, very good."

Mr Shefflin, who has been on the all-Ireland winning team 10 times, said the Prince may have had a good chance of being signed up if he had been in Kilkenny in his youth.

Heaney's family

The couple left Northern Ireland on Wednesday, where Prince Charles opened a garden of remembrance for police officers killed on duty in Northern Ireland.

Image copyright Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Image caption Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Seamus Heaney Homeplace Centre in Bellaghy

The Royal couple's trip began on Tuesday with a visit to the Seamus Heaney Homeplace Centre in Bellaghy, where they met members of the poet's family.

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