President says he won’t attend NI centenary event due to its political nature

President Michael D Higgins says he won't attend a church service to commemorate the centenary of Northern Ireland and partition because it is political in nature.

The memorial is to take place in Armagh next month with the UK's Queen to be in attendance - with accusations that the decision not to go is a snub against her.

President Higgins denied this, and stated that in the invitation he was referred to as the President of the Republic of Ireland, and said he is the President of Ireland.

The President is in Italy to meet the Pope today as part of a four day visit.