Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams is to travel to Cuba for the funeral of former president Fidel Castro next weekend.  

In a statement, Mr Adams said Mr Castro was a global leader and a good friend of the Irish people.

He added that he was "proud to travel to Cuba, to represent Sinn Féin as we remember him."

It is expected that the former Cuban leader's ashes will being travelling through the country, starting in Havana on Wednesday.  

On Sunday the remains are expected to be interred in the 'Tanta Ifigenia" cemetery, in the eastern area of the Santiago.

Meanwhile, President Michael D Higgins has rejected suggestions that he neglected human rights concerns when making a statement after Mr Castro's death.