State visit part of 'journey of friendship'
PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins believes his upcoming state visit will be another historic step on the "journey of friendship" between Ireland and Britain.
Days before the first state visit by an Irish Head of State to Britain, President Higgins said there were many values now uniting the neighbouring isles in facing the many "challenges and possibilities" ahead.
In many ways, the President feels, we are already "truly interdependent" as we enjoy a "warm and vibrant" friendship as economic and trade partners, while also co-operating closely in the areas of energy, science and in technological developments. Both the President and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, writing in tomorrow's Irish Independent supplement on the state visit, tell how an early invitation had followed Britain's Queen Elizabeth's much heralded trip to Irish landmarks, including the Garden of Remembrance, in May 2011.
Mr Kenny said it was clear that the visit of Queen Elizabeth had marked "the beginning of a golden age in the relationship between our islands and people".
"Throughout the United Kingdom, there's an Irish voice or name at the highest levels of business, academia, volunteering, social innovation, politics, literature and the arts," he added.
Read the full essays in tomorrow's supplement 'The President in Britain'.