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Minister Flanagan welcomes visit by German President to Ireland

Minister Flanagan welcomes visit by German President to Ireland

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, today welcomed the announcement that the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Joachim Gauck will visit Ireland next week. The President, His Excellency Joachim Gauck, accompanied by Ms Daniela Schadt, has accepted an invitation from President Higgins to visit Ireland from 13 to 15 July 2015.

Minister Flanagan said:

“I look forward to welcoming President Gauck and Ms Daniela Schadt to Ireland next week. Germany is a key political and economic partner for Ireland and the visit is a valuable opportunity to build on our close ties.

“Our people-to-people ties are strong. We are delighted to welcome almost 540,000 German tourists to Ireland each year, making Germany one of our top three tourism markets. This visit will allow President Gauck to visit Dublin and the West of Ireland, where so many of his countrypeople come each year to enjoy stunning scenery, delicious food and experience the warmth of an Irish welcome.

“Germany is also a crucial trading partner for Ireland. Our bilateral trade with Germany is worth over €20 bn., and we expect it to grow further.”

The State Visit will commence with a formal welcome ceremony at Áras an Uachtaráin on Monday afternoon (13 July), where President Gauck and Ms Daniela Schadt will be greeted by the President and Sabina Higgins. Minister Flanagan will represent the Government at this ceremony. Following the formal welcome ceremony, a meeting will take place between the Heads of State after which President Higgins will invite President Gauck to plant a tree in the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin.

Later that afternoon, President Gauck will meet the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, at Government Buildings. Later, accompanied by Minister Flanagan and the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, President Gauck will lay a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance. He will later attend a Civic Reception in his honour hosted by the Lord Mayor of Dublin. That evening, the President and Sabina Higgins will host a State Dinner at Áras an Uachtaráin in honour of President Gauck and Ms Schadt.

On Tuesday (14 July), President Gauck will visit Leinster House. His programme will also include business engagements in German software company SAP and a roundtable discussion on Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) funding for SMEs, before a visit to view the Book of Kells in Trinity College.

President Gauck will travel to Galway for a programme at the National University of Ireland, Galway on Wednesday (15 July) which will include a roundtable seminar on ‘Human Rights and Development’ with President Higgins, as well as the conferring by NUI Galway of an honorary degree on President Gauck. Later that afternoon, President Gauck and Ms Schadt will visit a farm and the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare before departing Ireland.

Press Office
9 July 2015