Britain's Princess Royal was in Dublin today for a one-day visit. She has made several visits to Ireland in recent years, but Government sources played down suggestions that today's event was in any way a precursor to a visit by Queen Elizabeth.

After her arrival mid-morning, Princess Anne made a courtesy call to President Mary McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin. She then visited the Army Equitation School at the nearby McKee Barracks.

The Princess also presented the Cork Dry Gin Sailor of the Year Awards at the Old Jameson Distillery in Smithfield.

Government sources described the visit of the Princess as private. They also said that while President McAleese invited Queen Elizabeth to come here several years ago, there are currently no plans for such a visit.