A visit by Britain's King Charles III to Ireland would be highly important and send a clear signal on Irish-British relations.
That's according to Bobby McDonagh, a former Irish Ambassador to the EU and the UK.
He was speaking amid reports that the British monarch will make his first official state visit to Ireland following his coronation in May.
Mr McDonagh told Newstalk Breakfast the visit would make sense.
"It would not be unreasonable to think that King Charles will visit Ireland at some point," he said.
"I think a visit to the North is a separate question, because it would be surprising if after his coronation he didn't visit all the different parts of the United Kingdom.
"It wouldn't be unreasonable to think he will come Ireland at some point, even though there are very many parts of the world he could visit.
"Irish-UK relations are of particular importance to both countries, and I think he has a special affection for Ireland.
"I think, if and when it does happen, it would be highly important because state visits play an important role in relations between other countries".
'A clear signal'
Mr McDonagh said this would also be in line with British government priorities.
"Prior to his coronation he's already visiting France and Germany; those will be his first state visits," he said.
"They send a clear signal that's in line with [British] Prime Minister Sunak's wish to restore relations with the EU.
"I think a further state visit to Ireland, especially after the recent difficult few years with the Northern Ireland Protocol and so on, would send a message.
"I don't believe that dates have been fixed, but if it did happen I think it would be a good thing".
'No reluctance on his part'
Mr McDonagh said King Charles holds a special place for Ireland.
"When I was ambassador in London, he came to a reception in the embassy to meet members of the Irish community," he said.
"In his remarks, he said that every time he has been with Irish people, he comes away with his spirits lifted - and I have no doubt that he meant that.
"He's also conscious of the historic role that his mother played in improving British-Irish relations with her state visit in 2011.
"I think there would be no reluctance on his part if the British government decides to prioritise a state visit to Ireland," he added.