A conference has opened today exploring the relationship between people of Irish and African descent.

'Where do we go from here? Revisiting Black Irish Relations' is a virtual event hosted by Glucksman Ireland House, New York University's Centre for Irish and Irish-American Studies.

The conference was opened earlier today by the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin.

In his remarks, Mr Martin highlighted the importance of working for a diverse, inclusive Ireland and of celebrating Ireland’s diverse diaspora.

Over the course of the three-week online conference, speakers will examine the history of the complex relationship between Irish Americans and African Americans, a relationship that has been marked by both conflict and collaboration.

Many Irish were slave-owners and in 19th century America, working-class Irish immigrants and their Black neighbours competed for work and social status.

In 1863, an Irish-dominated mob killed dozens of people, mostly African Americans, in three days of riots in New York.

"The aim of this conference and programming is to examine the constellations of Blackness and Irishness in the history of the United States and beyond and use their example to ponder present conundrums around race, ethnicity, inequality and identity politics," according to the event organisers.