Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to visit Ireland in mid-October according to sources close to the Clinton camp.

And it is expected that she will be accompanied by the new economic envoy, who is expected to be named shortly.

Sources say Clinton will use the trip as an opportunity to strongly dismiss reports that the U.S government is paying little attention to Ireland.

Sources told the Irish Voice that Clinton has made absolutely clear her commitment to handling the Irish brief as well as her responsibilities at the State Department.

She is expected to visit Dublin and Belfast during her visit and to discuss the state of the peace process as well as economic investment.

She also wants to meet the Northern Ireland leaders and find out first hand what the priorities for the success of the peace process are

The visit will be an opportunity for Clinton, who visited Ireland six times between 1992 and 2000 as First Lady, to become reacquainted with the situation there.

She is said to be particularly pleased that Belfast now has a female Lord Mayor, Naomi Long, for the first time in a generation as involving women in politics was a huge part of her priorities there during her visits as First Lady.

One of her key staffers , Jake Sullivan, who worked on her campaign and later became an important figure in the Obama team, is handling Ireland on a day-to-day basis.

During the Bush administration, neither Condoleezza Rice nor Colin Powell visited Dublin and both left the Northern Ireland situation to the State Department envoys.

Clinton will set a new tone with her visit and clearly indicate that Ireland and the peace process there is one of the success stories she has used in conflict resolution talks all over the world