Tánaiste to accompany President Higgins on State Visit to the UK07 April 2014
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, together with Ms Carol Hanney, will accompany President Higgins and Mrs Sabina Higgins on the State Visit to the United Kingdom from 8-11 April.
The Tánaiste will participate in the official ceremonial welcome at Windsor Castle and will accompany the President throughout Tuesday, which includes his address to Westminster and the State Banquet at Windsor Castle.
On Wednesday, the Tánaiste will meet separately with Foreign Secretary William Hague for discussions on issues of international concern, particularly the situation in Ukraine. The Tánaiste will then join the President for a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.
After attending the Youth Workshop at City Hall, the Tánaiste will address an Enterprise Ireland networking event for Irish High-Potential Start-Up companies and invited British business guests at the Embassy of Ireland in London.
Thereafter, the Tánaiste will accompany President Higgins throughout Wednesday evening, Thursday, and Friday at events which will include a Northern Ireland-themed reception hosted by the Queen in Windsor Castle, the ‘Céiliúradh’ at Royal Albert Hall and several engagements outside London, including a reception for members of the Irish community at Coventry’s Guildhall.
During the course of the programme, the Tánaiste will also meet with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers, and Labour Party leader and leader of the Opposition, Ed Milliband.
Speaking in advance of the visit, the Tánaiste said:
"The very detailed and personal nature of this visit reflects the depth and substance of the relationship between our two countries. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge the warm friendship which now exists across the Irish Sea and to recognise the substantial contribution made by the Irish community in the UK.
“From a trade perspective, it will also highlight our close economic links. The UK is our most important market, with trade of over €1 billion worth of goods and services every week, and 200,000 people employed in Ireland as a result of exports to the UK. This visit will help to build on our close political, economic, people-to-people and cultural ties and forge even closer links to the benefit of all’
6 April 2014