President Mary McAleese is to pay a morale-boosting pre-Christmas visit to Irish troops engaged in United Nations duty in Liberia next week.
Mrs McAleese will travel to capital Monrovia to tour Camp Clara next Tuesday where she will meet troops drawn primarily from 1st Southern Brigade, Munster.
After laying a wreath at the camp’s UN memorial, the President will have lunch with the troops and present Christmas cards to the soldiers from their families in Ireland.
Mrs McAleese will also meet representatives of Concern, Trocaire, the Irish Red Cross and UNICEF who are involved in humanitarian aid efforts in the region.
The President will pay a courtesy call on the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of the Republic of Liberia, Charles Gyude Bryant, who recently visited Ireland during her trip.
Mrs McAleese will depart Dublin Airport next Monday accompanied by Dr Martin McAleese, Defence Minister Willie O’Dea and Lieutenant General Jim Sreenan, Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces.
She will first travel to Senegal to meet Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal in Dakar, on the first day of her trip. She is due to return home on Wednesday.