28 February 2023
By Tom Collins
A State Visit by the President of the Republic of Malta announced by Áras an Uachtaráin – Ireland and Malta are the only English speaking countries in the EU (since Brexit)
The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, has confirmed that he will welcome the President of Malta, H.E. Dr George Vella, and his wife Mrs Miriam Vella on a State Visit to Ireland this week, commencing on Wednesday 1st March and continuing to Friday 3rd March.
The State Visit by President Vella reciprocates the State Visit of President Higgins to Malta in May 2022, and serves to strengthen the historical, cultural, educational and diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The State Visit will begin with a ceremonial welcome at Áras an Uachtaráin on Wednesday, 1st March, followed by a bilateral meeting between the two Heads of State. That evening, the President and Sabina Higgins will host a State Dinner in honour of President Vella and Mrs Vella.
President and Mrs Higgins will join President and Mrs Vella on engagements at Cork City Hall and University College Cork on Thursday.
President Higgins and President Vella last met at the annual meeting of the Arraiolos Group of non-executive European Presidents, the 2022 meeting of which was hosted by President Vella in Malta in October 2022.
While in Ireland, President Vella will in addition visit the Garden of Remembrance, EPIC Irish Emigration Museum, the Curragh Military Camp where he will meet with Maltese Cadets, and Ordinance Survey Ireland. He will also visit Government Buildings, where he will have meetings with the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste, as well as the House of the Oireachtas, where he will have meetings with the Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil and Cathaoirleach of the Seanad.