There has been a broad welcome to the news that President Michael D Higgins will make an official state visit to the UK next year.
It will be the first time any Irish head of state has made an official trip there and follows Queen Elizabeth's successful visit to Ireland in 2011 - the first by a reigning British monarch in 100 years.
Both the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste have welcomed the news, as has the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams.
Retired Irish Diplomat Noel Dorr said while it is not President Higgins' first trip to the UK since he came into office, it will be an historic occasion.
"The idea of the State visit is to put the seal on all the work that we've done to build that relationship," he said.
"Our President is a regular visitor to Britain - I think he's gone four or five times … I would iamgine that for the Irish in Britain, this is an important occasion."