One of the functions of the President of Ireland is to represent the state in Foreign Affairs, for example, the President accredits ambassadors and receives letters of credence from foreign diplomats. It is also the President who receives foreign heads of state and represents the people of Ireland on State Visits abroad.

During President Hillery’s two terms, he made State Visits to the following countries:

1977 February Federal Republic of Germany
1978 January India
1978 September Luxembourg
1980 February Tanzania
1980 February Bahrain
1983 June Denmark
1983 September Japan
1984 May Federal Republic of Germany
1985 May New Zealand
1985 May Australia
1986 April Austria
1986 November Netherlands
1988 May China
1989 April Vatican
1989 October Italy

The other official visits abroad by President Hillery:

1978 September, 3rd Vatican
Enthronement of Pope John Paul I
1978 October, 22nd Vatican
Enthronement of Pope John Paul II
1980 April, 4th Yugoslavia
Funeral of President Tito
1981 October, 6th Egypt
Funeral of President Sadat
1982 September, 14th Monaco
Funeral of Princess Grace
1982 November, 10th U.S.S.R.
Funeral of President Bresnev
1984 February, 12th U.S.S.R.
Funeral of President Andropov
1985 February, 11th France
Address to the Parliamentary Assembly Of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg
1985 March, 10th U.S.S.R.
Funeral of President Chernenko
1986 October, 11th France
Acceptance of the Robert Schumann Gold Medal, Metz
1987 October, 14th Brussels, Luxembourg, Strasbourg
Visit to Community Institutions
1989 February Japan
Funeral of Emperor Hirohito
1989 July France
Bicentennial Celebrations of the French Revolution
1990 November Japan
Enthronement of Emperor Akihito

The following State Visits to Ireland were received by President Hillery:

1978 April Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
1979 September His Excellency Dr. J. Nyerere, President of Tanzania
1979 September His Holiness Pope John Paul II
1980 May His Excellency Dr. Carl Carstens, President of the Federal Republic of Germany
1982 June The Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg
1984 June His Excellency Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America
1985 March The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Japan
1985 June His Excellency Chaim Hertzog, President of Israel
1986 June His Excellency Francesco Cossiga, President of Italy
1988 February His Excellency Francois Mitterand, President of France
1988 June The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
1989 May His Excellency Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua
1990 October Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands