McAleese to begin week-long visit to US


President Mary McAleese will begin a week-long trip to the west coast of the United States tomorrow to strengthen trade, business and cultural links.

The official visit will take in California, Oregon and Arizona.

On Thursday, Mrs McAleese will visit San Francisco, where she will be conferred with an honorary degree by the city’s university.

She will also address an American Ireland Fund Women’s Lunch and meet more than 600 members of the local Irish community.

On Friday, the President will speak at a business event at Stanford University attended by executives from top Silicon Valley companies.

She will then officially open San Francisco Youth League GAA Fields and attend a reception hosted by the Irish Immigration and Pastoral centre - a self-help group run by Irish immigrants.

On Saturday, Mrs McAleese flies to Oregon to unveil a replica of the Clonmacnoise Cross of the Scriptures in Portland to commemorate the Irish who travelled there during the Famine.

She will later address a business lunch hosted by Enterprise Ireland and attend a reception to mark the 70th anniversary of the All-Ireland Cultural Society of Oregon.

The next stage of her trip will take her to Phoenix, Arizona where she will attend an Irish community reception, and address a business breakfast.

The President will later meet with Governor of Arizona and secretary of state-designate for homeland security, Janet Napolitano

Ms McAleese will also travel to Los Angeles where she will speak at a lunch held by Tourism Ireland and attend a reception hosted by Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Film Board at the Warner Brothers’ Lot in Hollywood.

She will also meet the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times.

The President will return to Ireland next Wednesday.