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
Notes to Editor
The following arrangements are in place for those wishing to cover the separate elements in the Tánaiste’s programme:
Meeting with Foreign Secretary William Hague 12.30pm, Wednesday 9th April
Media wishing to cover this event can avail of official transport from the Press Centre at the Intercontinental Westminster Hotel, 28 Broadway, London at 12pm. Reporters will subsequently be brought directly to Downing Street to cover President Higgins’ meeting with Prime Minister Cameron.
As per the media operational note, those intending to cover the President’s meeting with Prime Minister Cameron and/or the meeting between FM Hague and the Tánaiste should email Clare.Brosnan@dfa.ie. Please also state in your email what equipment, if any, which you hope to bring and ensure you have photo identification.
Enterprise Ireland Seminar for High Potential Start Up Companies – ‘Ones to Watch’ – 5pm, Wednesday 9th April
Media wishing to cover this event, should make their own way to the Embassy of Ireland, 17 Grosvenor Place, SW1X 7HR for 5pm. Expressions of interest in attending this should contact Fionnuala.Quinlan@dfa.ie. The Tánaiste will address guests at 5.25pm. There will be interview opportunities with the Tánaiste (immediately after address to guests), CEO of Enterprise Ireland Ms Julie Sinnamon and with representatives of Irish companies present. The event concludes at 6.30pm