Immigration reform for Irish in America "top priority"

Enda Kenny is in the middle of his St Patrick's Day trip

Immigration reform for Irish in America "top priority"

Enda Kenny in Washington in 2011 | Image:

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says getting legalised immigration status for Irish people in America is an "absolute priority" this week.

He made the comments as he began a week-long trip to the United States, culminating in a meeting with President Donald Trump.

This trip might well be Mr Kenny's last as Taoiseach, if signals at home are anything to go by.

His tour of the USA is among his busiest - taking in Boston, Rhode Island, Washington and New York.

But it starts in Philadelphia where Mr Kenny begins on a lighter note, as the guest of honour at the 247th St Patrick's Day parade.

There are concerns the parade could be blown away by Storm Stella, with temperatures overnight at -6 and widespread snow warnings.

He will later visit a famine memorial.

On Monday, the Taoiseach will meet Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

On Tuesday morning after launching the Boston College-Ireland Business Council, he travels to Rhode Island where he will meet Governor Gina Raimondo.

In Washington on Wednesday, Mr Kenny will meet senior business contacts at the US Chamber of Commerce - he will also address the American Ireland Fund that evening.

While on Thursday, his programme will include a bilateral meeting with President Trump and events hosted by US Vice President Mike Pence Pence and Speaker Paul Ryan.

And on Friday, he travels to New York to take part in the St Patrick's Day parade.