Both managers and captains from Cork City and Dundalk were invited to Áras an Uachtaráin to meet President Michael D Higgins ahead of the President's Cup.
The President's Cup is set to take place on Friday, February 17, with kick-off at 7.30pm, as the SSE Airtricity League holders Dundalk and the FAI Cup winners Cork City go head-to-head.
Managers Stephen Kenny and John Caulfield, and captains Stephen O'Donnell and John Dunleavy were able to meet the President at his residence ahead of Friday's match.
The President, who was once President of Galway United, was delighted to welcome the officials from both sides to Áras an Uachtaráin and wished them luck for the 2017 season.
The President said: "I’m taking the opportunity of inviting
"It is always a very interesting game between Dundalk and Cork City, and I
"Dundalk have defeated Cork City in the league last season and of course, Cork City beat Dundalk in the FAI Cup, and on it goes. They’re two great teams who are playing to a very high standard."
The game, which takes place at Turner's Cross, will continue the rivalry between the two clubs before the start of the 2017 SSE Airtricity League on Friday, February 24.
It is a date the President is looking forward to as he admitted his love for the SSE Airtricity League and urged clubs to continue the connection with their local community.
The President added: "The standard is very high. The league is where I really have a strong feeling.
"When I go to games, whether it’s out in Tallaght, Dalymount or even Galway, I know people from different generations whose families have supported football.
"I think something must be done to make sure the clubs keep the connection to the local community."