Legislators from 27 US states gathered in Dublin today to launch a new American Irish State Legislators Caucus.

The event at the Mansion House was attended by 55 Senate presidents and minority leaders.

It is hoped that every US state will have its own American Irish State Legislators caucus by the end of 2022.

"We want to ensure that legislators all across the country, some who will eventually rise to run for congress, some who might run for Governor or the US Senate or President that they understand that a country like Ireland is to be watched in the best of ways," said Representative Robin Vos, Speaker of the Assembly of Wisconsin.

Mr Vos spoke of the economic growth in Ireland over recent years and said both countries could learn from each other.

He said that fostering such links was also important in the context of Brexit.

"I think one of the most important things is for Americans to understand what Brexit really is because we had limited coverage as the debate went on throughout Great Britain," he said.

Mr Vos, a member of the Republican Party, spoke of the need to ensure that trading links between Ireland and the UK remain strong, free flowing and are not disrupted due to tension over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

"We're in that shrinking world so I think that most Americans want to ensure that strong trade relationships develop, but also we realise that sovereignty is important for each nation," he said.

Meanwhile, Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Mark Daly said that American/Irish caucuses now existed in many states.

"From Florida to Alaska, from Maine to Hawaii and we're delighted that it's bipartisan and anybody can be a member, you don't have to have Irish heritage, you just have to be a friend of Ireland," Mr Daly said.

He said it would be important in terms of developing engagement on issues of mutual interest to the US and Ireland, such as trade, the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process.

The American Irish State Legislators Caucus will be launched on US soil next month, when legislators gather in Tampa, Florida.

Its first meeting will be chaired by Mr Vos, who is also President of the National Conference of State Legislators, which has more than 7,300 members.