PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins will visit London and Scotland this week.
The first leg of the trip kicks off in the capital with one of the highlights a function at the Haringey Irish Cultural and Community Centre where he will meet members of a local gaelic football team.
London GAA players are to compete in the Connacht provincial final against Mayo next Sunday.
The team, made up mostly by recent young, Irish emigrants, have already won over Mayor of London Boris Johnson who turned down an invite to the match in Castlebar, Co Mayo but gave them his full support with a "Go London" message.
The President will be in Middlesex University later tomorrow where he will receive an honorary doctorate.
The two-legged UK trip continues on Saturday when Mr Higgins travels with his wife Sabina to Iona off Scotland to mark the 1,450th anniversary of the arrival of St Colmcille on the island.
President Higgins will deliver a keynote address on Iona called Of Migrants and Migration.
The couple will also attend an ecumenical service at the Medieval Abbey Church and visit St Oran's Graveyard which includes the grave of Macbeth, King of Scotland who died in 1057 and John Smith, former leader of the Labour Party who died in 1994.