Obama pledges to narrow inequality and fight gun crime

Barack Obama has anchored his State of the Union address on those specific domestic priorities.

He has also confirmed that the US will open talks with Europe to launch the world's largest free trade zone.

Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore's welcomed the announcement, saying it "opens up enormous untapped potential" to boost jobs and trade on both sides of the Atlantic.

Watch Obama's State of the Union Address below. 

Mr Obama was at his most passionate when he made the case for measures to stem gun violence, following the massacre of 20 children at a Connecticut elementary school in December: