Ministers get ready to travel the globe
THE new government ministers will find out today where their first junket destination will be.
It is expected that most of the ministers will jet out for the annual St Patrick's Day getaway but none have yet been confirmed.
However, new Taoiseach Enda Kenny's trip to the White House has already been arranged as the annual visit is now considered "standard".
"It's standing practice that it takes place," a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
"We always go there."
Less than one week is left until some of the ministers will jet out to far-flung destinations, but no bookings can be made until Mr Kenny confirms who will be travelling abroad to represent Ireland.
Officials within the Department of Foreign Affairs have received suggested itineraries from Irish embassies worldwide and they will confirm bookings later today.
The new Agriculture Minister, Fine Gael's Simon Coveney, will likely attend his first council of EU agriculture ministers in Brussels, which takes place on March 17.
Priority will be given to countries that have a large Irish community and with which Ireland has strong trade links. The travel plans are expected to be "pretty similar" to previous years but with a more watchful eye on costs.