New Irish president Higgins' first NI visit

Michael D Higgins

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The Irish government is to approve a request from president-elect Michael D Higgins that he visit Northern Ireland at the weekend.

He is due to travel to Londonderry on Sunday for the final of the all-island school choir of the year competition.

Earlier that day, he will be at the Remembrance Sunday service at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.

These will be Mr Higgins' first formal engagements following his inauguration in Dublin Castle on Friday.

Under the rules of the Irish constitution, the president can only leave the state with the consent of the government.

For visits to Northern Ireland, permission is normally a formality and should be approved at the cabinet's meeting on Tuesday.

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