President Éamon de Valera leaves Dublin Airport on an official state visit to the Vatican.

President Éamon de Valera departs for Rome where he is to meet Pope John XXIII in the Vatican and to be bestowed with the Supreme Order of Christ.

On the nine day visit to Rome starts on 15 March President De Valera is accompanied by his wife Sinéad, the Tánaiste Mr Sean MacEntee and Minister for External Affairs Mr Frank Aiken.

President De Valera and his travelling party arrive at Dublin airport for their flight to Rome. Members of the church, state and diplomatic corps gathered at the airport for a ceremonial send off for the visit to the Vatican. Before boarding his Aer Lingus flight, the President inspected a guard of honour of troops of the Eastern Command and members of the No. 1 Army Band.

President Éamon De Valera inspects guard of honour at Dublin Airport (1962)
President Éamon De Valera inspects guard of honour at Dublin Airport (1962)

On the evening of 16 March President De Valera met with Pope John XXIII in the Vatican. There he was conferred with the Supreme Order of Christ, the highest decoration that the Pope bestows on Catholic heads of state.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 March 1962. The footage shown here is mute.