President Mary McAleese has completed a two-week visit to South America.

During her official visits to Argentina and Brazil and her State visit to Chile, the President highlighted the importance of the work of Irish missionaries. Mrs McAleese also led a large trade delegation to the three countries.

One of the President's last engagements was a meeting with Brazil's President Lula in the capital, Brasilia.

Mrs McAleese has declined to be drawn on her future plans. She said the preparations for the South American trip had taken a lot of time, and she had not had the opportunity to reflect on whether or not she would put herself forward for re-election in the autumn.

Mrs McAleese said she would consider the issue over the summer.