G8 leaders expected to head for Giant’s Causeway

Mr. Storey said it was his information that President Obama would be coming early to pay his first visit to the province where his trip will begin.

His press secretary said the visit to Belfast would enable him to engage with the people of Northern Ireland and highlight the hard work, dialogue and institutional development they have undertaken together.

The visit will also be the first by a US president since George Bush went to Belfast in 2008.

Bill and Hillary Clinton were frequent visitors to Northern Ireland, making three visits in the 1990s to show their support for the peace process.

Two years ago President Obama visited Dublin and his ancestral home of Moneygall in County Offaly.

Any plans to visit locally would mean a huge security operation.

Already, an extra 3,600 police officers are to be drafted in for the duration of the summit. There will also by a no-fly and no-sailing regime imposed on the Lakeland area during that period.