Taoiseach Enda Kenny has travelled to Britain for a round of engagements, including a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron tomorrow.
Mr Kenny was guest of honour at a civic reception in Manchester.
Over a third of the population of greater Manchester claims Irish roots and the Taoiseach opened the latest stage of an Irish Heritage Centre in the city.
The Irish Government contributed €2m towards the cost of the new facility.
For the last couple of years the Taoiseach has made a point of visiting the UK ahead of his St Patrick’s day trip to the US.
Mr Kenny's talks with Mr Cameron in Downing Street will cover trade and North-South issues.
They may also address the uncertainty over British plans to purchase wind-generated power from the Republic of Ireland.