The Taoiseach has said the decision by the US President to visit Ireland was a sign of Barack Obama's confidence in the country and it was now time that as Irish people we believed in ourselves.

President Obama announced yesterday that he would come to Ireland in May.

Speaking before leaving Washington, Mr Kenny said the President's visit as well as the arrival of Britain's Queen Elizabeth in the same month was an opportunity to develop Irish tourism.

He also said it would be important to secure American support of any changes to the terms of the EU/IMF rescue package.

Mr Obama's visit is likely to take place between 21 and 24 May.

Details are still to be finalised but the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamonn Gilmore, said the intention is that President Obama's visit will happen immediately after Queen Elizabeth’s visit before the President's visit to the UK and France.

Discussions between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the US State Department are ongoing.