Deenihan spent his own cash to go to St Patrick's events in US
Published 17/03/2016 | 02:30
He may have lost his Dáil seat, but Diaspora Minister Jimmy Deenihan spent his own cash to fly the flag at St Patrick's Day events in Chicago and Detroit.
"I felt it would be good to have a minister there... so I went. Look, it cost a few bob but I was glad I went there," Mr Deenihan told the Irish Independent.
The former Kerry TD marched in St Patrick's parades in both cities, met the Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel, and also visited a Ford car plant in Michigan.
"I would say it probably all-in-all cost me maybe about €1,300, between accommodation and everything," Mr Deenihan said.
He said he wanted to see any new government retain the diaspora portfolio: "I think it's a important one, and also it's connecting well with the Irish diaspora and organisations around the world, so I hope it's kept."
The former Fine Gael TD said he was not running for the Seanad, but hadn't ruled out standing if there was another Dáil election in the coming months.
"I'm keeping that option open," he said.