Published on Dec 31, 2012 : The European Union flag and that of the Irish Republic were raised simultaneously at an official ceremony at Dublin castle on Monday morning to mark the start of Ireland's six-month term as president.
The flag-raising ceremony celebrates three milestones: the beginning of Ireland's seventh EU presidency, the 40th anniversary of the country's EU accession and the European Year of Citizens.
Ireland's prime minister, Enda Kenny has said that he is determined to deliver, "solutions" to a range of issues.
But Dublin has said its main priority will be to get the European economy back on track with boosting jobs and growth the top of its agenda.
If EU leaders can agree early next year on the 27-member bloc's budget Ireland will then be charged with steering it through the European Parliament.