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EP President to visit Ireland on 7&8 April 2008

The President of the European Parliament, German MEP Hans-Gert Pöttering, will make an official visit to Ireland at the invitation of the Irish Government on next Monday and Tuesday, 7 and 8 April.

President Pöttering will arrive in Dublin on Monday afternoon and his visit will begin with a meeting with An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern TD followed by a press point at Government Buildings at 6pm.

On Tuesday, President Pöttering will meet with the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, at Áras an Uachtaráin.

At 10.30am on Tuesday morning, President Pöttering will address Seanad Éireann at the invitation of Senator Pat Moylan, Cathaoirleach of the Seanad.  The President's address will focus on Ireland's role in the EU and will be followed by a debate. This will be a public session, open to the media.

During his visit, the President will also meet with Dermot Ahern TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dick Roche TD, Minister of State for European Affairs and the leaders of Fine Gael, Enda Kenny TD and the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore TD.

The primary issue which President Pöttering will discuss during his official visit is the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, and in particular the planned Irish Referendum.  He will also outline his views on the EU's role in the promotion of peace, the European Parliament's role in the fight against climate change and the importance of intercultural dialogue.

For further information, please contact Fearghas Ó Béara, Spokesperson for the President on 0032 498 983 311 or Eimear Ní Bhroin, Press Officer on 086 8559423 /