Archbishop Martin prays for success of UK state visit
The country's leading Catholic bishop has prayed for the success of President Michael D Higgins's forthcoming state visit to Britain.
Speaking at St Patrick's Day Mass in the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin, which was attended by President and Sabina Higgins, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the ceremony was about praying for the country and for the President. As he prepared to bless a bowl of shamrock, the Archbishop addressed the congregation in English, in a ceremony which otherwise was totally in Irish.
He said: "We come here to pray for our President, that the Lord will give him strength and good health and that he will continue to devote his energy, leadership and his courage in the way he leads us and represents our people."
Remarking that Ireland was approaching "an important moment in the near future with the state visit to the United Kingdom", he prayed it would go well. President Higgins becomes the first Irish Head of State to make an official state visit to the UK next month from April 8-10.