Higgins to begin British visit
President Michael D Higgins is beginning a three-day visit to the Liverpool and Manchester areas of the UK.
Mr Higgins and his wife Sabina will be met by Irish Ambassador to Britain Bobby McDonagh in Manchester before travelling to Liverpool to deliver the John Kennedy Lecture.
His address, entitled Liverpool And Its Irish Migrants, will be given at the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool.
Mr Higgins will also meet senior figures in Liverpool Town Hall before laying a wreath at the Great Hunger Memorial in memory of those who died in the Irish famine.
On Thursday morning, the president will meet Irish expatriates at the city's St Michael's Irish Centre ahead of a reception on board the Irish naval ship LE Eithne for Ireland's 2013 tourism initiative The Gathering.
Mr Higgins then travels northwards again to visit the University of Manchester, where he studied in the late 1960s, to deliver a lecture entitled Thinking Of Manchester And Its Irish Connection.
The president will then meet senior figures in Manchester Town Hall, and attend an Irish community reception hosted by Mr McDonagh.
On the final day of his visit, the Irish premier will attend a business breakfast hosted by investment agency Enterprise Ireland, before visiting the Irish World Heritage Centre.