16 May 2006

McAleese beginning eight-day US visit


15 May 2006 21:38

President Mary McAleese was due to arrive in Denver, Colorado today on the first stop of an eight-day visit to the US.

The trip will focus on the cultural and economic links between Ireland and the Rocky Mountains region.

Ms McAleese, who will be accompanied by her husband Dr Martin McAleese, has been invited by the Governors of Montana and Colorado.

The president is due to travel to Butte in Montana, a small city in the heart of the Rockies, where many Irish settled in the late 19th century to exploit the region's copper mines.

She will also inaugurate an Irish studies programme at the University of Montana.

In Denver, Ms McAleese will meet business leaders and attend a state dinner hosted by the Governor of Colorado.

Next weekend, the president will travel to Notre Dame University, which has a strong Irish-American tradition. She will deliver the commencement address at a graduation ceremony.

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