1. ITV Report

Irish president visits Birmingham at start of three-day visit to England

Ireland President Michael D Higgins is on a three-day visit to England Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, will begin a three-day visit to England with a series of engagements in Birmingham on Monday.

Mr Higgins, accompanied by his wife Sabina, will attend a civic reception in his honour hosted by Birmingham City Council, and pay a visit to a memorial commemorating the 21 people killed in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings.

The memorial near Birmingham’s New Street station was unveiled last November after a project involving the Justice4the21 campaign group, together with Network Rail and the Birmingham Irish Association.

Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina are visiting Birmingham Credit: Niall Carson/PA

Mr Higgins, who was first elected as Ireland’s head of state in 2011 and was re-elected last year, is due to meet trustees and staff of the Birmingham Irish Association and older members of the Irish community in the city.

He will visit Merseyside on Tuesday and Wednesday, where he will be greeted by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

Tuesday’s programme will see the President visit the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Irish Studies, and attend a lunch promoting business and cultural ties between Ireland and Britain.