King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, who will arrive in Ireland next month on a State visit, will attend engagements including the signing of a new Irish-Dutch double-taxation treaty during his three-day visit.
Dutch royal officials on Monday released details of the official programme to visiting Irish journalists in The Hague, although the full details have yet to be confirmed by Irish Government officials.
King Willem-Alexander, who will be accompanied on the visit by Queen Maxima, will also visit Crosshaven in west Cork, as well as the National Botanic Gardens and Dogpatch Labs start-up hub in Dublin.
The Dutch royal visit takes place against the backdrop of intensive moves to forge closer relations between the State and the Netherlands post Brexit. Dutch minister for foreign affairs, Stef Blok and minister for foreign trade and development co-operation Sigrid Kaag will also accompany their king.
In a meeting in The Hague on Monday with Irish journalists ahead of the visit, King Willem-Alexander expressed admiration for the courage that Irishwoman Adrienne Cullen showed in championing greater openness within the Dutch health system. She died in the Netherlands last year from cancer, which followed a misdiagnosis of her condition. The King indicated that he had watched numerous Dutch television reports about her case. He is also aware that Peter Cluskey, Ms Cullen’s widower, has passed a book on her life to president Higgins. While the Dutch royal has yet to receive or read the book, he indicated that people should be grateful to her for shining a light on issues in the health system.
The ministers will lead an economic mission to Ireland to focus on the Brexit-critical maritime infrastructure and port development sectors.
The royal visit will commence in June 12th with a tree planting ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin, followed by the laying of a wreath in the Garden of Remembrance. There will also be a State banquet in the Áras that evening.
The next day he will meet the as-of-yet unknown new lord mayor of Dublin at the Mansion House, before visiting the Long Room in Trinity College. Later, the royals will host a reception for Dutch expats living in Ireland in the Kings Inns in the north inner city.
King Willem-Alexander will then meet the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and will be present the signing of a double-taxation treaty between the two Governments, focused on tackling tax avoidance and on avoiding double taxation of income and capital gains tax.
The royals will also attend a function on the second day in the National Botanical Gardens, before hosting a Dutch national dance theatre performance by NDT in the Bord Gáis Energy theatre.
The third day of the visit will take place in Cork, where King Willem-Alexander will meet the city’s lord mayor at city hall. The royals will then take a boat to Cobh. The Cork portion of the visit is themed on the development of port infrastructure and the maritime economy.
They will also visit Crosshaven in West Cork to discuss volunteer initiatives, with the trip incorporating a visit Camden Fort Meagher. Historically, many Dutch immigrants to Ireland settled in this part of the State.