Kenny cut cost of US St Patrick's Day visit
Published 31/03/2011 | 05:00
THE cost of Taoiseach Enda Kenny's trip to the White House was lower than St Patrick's Day visits to the US by his predecessors. Mr Kenny's bill for hotels, car hire, photography, equipment, a delegation office and gifts for dignitaries, came to €14,259.
However, this does not include the cost of the government jet, which can be upwards of €7,000 per hour.
Last year's trip by then Taoiseach Brian Cowen cost almost €22,000, but included extra cities such as Chicago and San Jose.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar published details of his St Patrick's Day trip to India. While he kept hotel and ancillary costs to a minimum, business-class flights for the minister and his private secretary amounted to €6,069.
The department defended the costs, as it had abided by Department of Finance rules. "The Oireachtas guidelines allow for business-class travel for flights of more than eight hours when the minister is on business," said a spokesman.