Mayor of Boston Marty Walsh has arrived in Shannon at the start of a ten-day tour of Ireland in which he will visit Galway, his parents' home villages in Connemara, and Belfast.

Mr Walsh's parents, the late John Walsh and his mother Mary, left Carna and Rosmuc in the late 1950s to emigrate to Boston.

He said he was hugely proud and excited to be back home in Ireland as Mayor of Boston, which has a huge Irish population.

Mr Walsh, who took office last January, will meet academic, business and civic leaders in Shannon, Galway and Belfast.

He said he hopes to build business and tourism links between Ireland and Boston during his visit.

He hopes to encourage investment in companies that have a presence in Ireland from the US city.

Mr Walsh is hoping to encourage emerging successful Irish companies to look to Boston to expand.

His mother Mary and many of his relatives and neighbours gave him a huge welcome at Shannon Airport.

They said that they were enormously proud of him, and that he was a politician to watch for the future.

His mother said they had been preparing for weeks in villages at Rosmuc and Carna for his arrival and that many celebrations were planned to welcome him and give him a memorable return home.