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Michael D's bound for New York

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins will travel to New York in the coming months in his first major trip abroad since taking office.

The final programme for the May trip has yet to be finalised, but the setpiece will be an address by the President to the prestigious American-Ireland fund dinner.

It will be the second year in a row a newly elected Irish leader speaks at the dinner, after Enda Kenny did the honours on his first trip to America as Taoiseach last May.

The dinner is held annually to raise money for Irish charities, and last year's $1,000-a-plate night at the Lincoln Centre in the city -- attended by Muhammad Ali and Liam Neeson, amongst others -- raised $3m (€2.36m).

This year's event takes place on May 3, and the President's trip is expected to last between three and four days.

Irish Independent