Northern Ireland news

Prince Andrew accompanied by Belfast libel lawyer Paul Tweed for tour of Royal Portrush

Prince Andrew with solicitor Paul Tweed as he attends The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim. Picture by Press Association 

The Duke of York has received a tour of the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.

The royal visitor arrived at the club house on Monday morning and received a welcome from officials before a tour of the course, which recently hosted The Open.

Andrew was accompanied by two other men, including Belfast libel lawyer Paul Tweed, as he took in the scenic seaside course in Co Antrim which recently hosted The Open.

Last year Mr Tweed secured an apology for the Duchess of York over false media claims linking her to a tell-all book about the Royal Family.

Andrew is visiting the golf club in his role as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: "His Royal Highness will undertake a number of engagements related to the tournament, at which there will be 66 sportsmen and women from 35 countries.

"The duke will meet volunteers, supporters and representatives from local businesses, host the tournament dinner, attend the tournament and present prizes."

 The Duke of York with solicitor Paul Tweed (centre) as he attends The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim. Liam McBurney/PA Wire

It marked Andrew's third public appearance in as many days following visits to the Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Sunday and the Belgian city of Bruges on Saturday to mark the 75th anniversary of its liberation by the Allies.

The course at Royal Portrush Golf Club above White Rocks beach. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

The appearances are among his first in public since the scandal broke over his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein was found hanged in his cell on August 10 in New York while facing fresh charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex.

Andrew has been dogged by allegations of impropriety with under-age girls introduced to him by Epstein.

Buckingham Palace has issued strong denials in response to claims from a woman who said she was forced to have under-age sex with the duke.

Virginia Roberts alleged in court papers in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the US state.

The palace has called the allegations "false and without any foundation", saying "any suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors" by the duke was "categorically untrue".

Andrew said in a statement on August 24: "At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to (Epstein's) arrest and conviction."

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