Friday 30 September 2016

Revealed: St Patrick's Day destinations for Government ministers

Philip Ryan and Cormac McQuinn

Published 11/03/2016 | 11:46

Taoiseach Enda Kenny presents a bowl of shamrocks to US President Barack Obama on St Patrick’s Day last year. Photo: Reuters
Taoiseach Enda Kenny presents a bowl of shamrocks to US President Barack Obama on St Patrick’s Day last year. Photo: Reuters

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has cancelled the second day of his two day St Patrick’s Day visit to Washington ahead of potential talks on forming the next Government.

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Mr Kenny was due to spend two days in Washington next week but has decided to cut the trip short.

The now caretaker Taoiseach will arrive in the US on Monday, March 14.

The next day he will meet with President Barack Obama in the White House and also attend a breakfast with Vice President Joe Biden the following

On Wednesday, he was due to attend an economic lunch hosted by the Irish Embassy and a dinner organised by the American Ireland Fund where Mr Kenny was due to meet Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan and his predecessor John Boehner.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan will replace Mr Kenny at these events.

Meanwhile details have been released of the destinations for the trips by other Cabinet members in what has been described as a “significantly reduced” St Patrick’s Day programme amid the uncertainty of the election result.

Last year Mr Kenny, Ms Burton and 27 ministers took part in the St Patrick’s Day programme abroad. This year ten will travel.

Tánaiste Joan Burton will go to Rome and Milan to promote tourism. Foreign Affairs Minister Charles Flanagan will travel to New York and Washington DC where he will take over from Mr Kenny when he leaves.

Mr Kenny will meet Mr Obama on Tuesday and will have breakfast with vice-president Joe Biden on Wednesday.

He was due to attend an economic lunch hosted by the Irish Embassy and a dinner organised by the American Ireland Fund.

Mr Flanagan will replace Mr Kenny at these events.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald will travel to London, jobs minister Richard Bruton will go to Paris and transport minister Paschal Donohoe is going to Madrid. Arts minister Heather Humphreys will visit Boston while government chief whip Paul Kehoe goes to Philadelphia, Albany, Trenton and Savannah.

Environment minister Alan Kelly travels to California.

Public expenditure and reform minister Brendan Howlin will go to India where he will promote Irish education and pharmaceutical industries.

Ministers who lost their seats, including James Reilly and Alex White, will not travel.

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