President Higgins starts 24-day visit to Australia and New Zealand
Focus is on strengthening economic, tourism, cultural and historical ties between the countries
President Michael D Higgins with the governor-general of the Commonwealth of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove, Lady Cosgrove and Sabina Higgins, at Áras an Uachtaráin last month. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography
President Michael D Higgins leaves Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin on Wednesday for the start of a 24-day visit to Australia and New Zealand marking the seventh and eighth State visits of his presidency.