The Week: News Highlights 19th July 2017

We look at the latest news highlights from Ireland

Week News Highlights 19th July 2017

Kate and Wills to be invited to Ireland

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will invite the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Ireland for an official visit in the near future.

According to a report in the Irish Examiner, he has instructed staff at the Embassy in London to look into the logistics of setting up the trip.

It reported that Brendan Griffin, Irish Minister for Tourism and Sport, said that steps have been taken to secure the visit, something he described as representing “the next generation of Anglo-Irish relations”.

Nothing has been confirmed in Dublin or London and any announcement from the Irish Government would only come once the royal couple had officially accepted the invitation.

Prince William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, became the first British monarch to travel to Ireland since 1911 when she undertook a four-day stay in 2011.

William, who is second in line to the throne, has previously stated that the Queen was extremely pleased with her visit to the Republic.

He explained that it was a major turning point for Anglo-Irish relations where the royal family was concerned, noting that the Queen had felt “almost like a child not allowed to go into a certain room”.

His father, Prince Charles, recently paid a visit to Ireland which he described as a “real joy”.

And last month he joined former Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Belgium to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Messines Ridge, which saw fighters from the Ulster and Irish divisions fight side by side.

Week News Highlights 19th July 2017

Irish hotels pave the way in worldwide poll

Two Irish hotels, one in Mayo and one in Laois, have been included in a list of the best 100 hotels in the world by influential travel magazine, Travel and Leisure.

Ballyfin in Co. Laois and Ashford Castle in Cong, Co. Mayo came in at 39 and 59 on the list respectively, which formed part of Travel and Leisure’s 2017 World’s Best Awards.

Nihi Sumba Island in Indonesia was named as the best hotel in the world, with hotels in French Polynesia, USA, New Zealand, Tanzania, South Africa and Argentina making up the official Top Ten.

A survey by Travel and Leisure invited readers to vote for their favourite hotels, cities, hotels, airlines, transportation between November 2016 and March of this year, with the cream of the crop making it to the final lists in all categories.

You can see more of the results of Travel and Leisure’s 2017 World’s Best Awards at

Week News Highlights 19th July 2017

Varadkar features on front of TIME magazine

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has made the cover of one of the world’s most powerful magazines, stating that he wants Ireland to be ‘the shining light unto the world’.

In the interview, which made the cover of the Europe edition of the New York based Time magazine, he said that the UK should not be punished for leaving the EU, and if it was then Ireland would lose ‘as much as, if not more’ than Britain.

“I would like Ireland to become what Michael Collins described as the shining light unto the world,” he said.

“I see us very much at the heart of Europe; we are founding members of the single market, we are founding members of the Euro.”

He point-blank described his view on Brexit, stating he would prefer it if it ‘wasn’t happening’ and that he hoped the UK would at some point “change its mind”, but emphasised that avoiding Border controls on the island is Ireland’s first priority.

“We are pretty much abolishing tariffs with Japan and Canada and it would be odd if we had tariffs with Britain quite frankly.

“The idea that you could send agricultural products to Tokyo and Osaka and not pay tariffs and you would have to pay tariffs sending them to Manchester is quite hard to fathom in the modern world.”

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