Shamrock diplomacy is a complete sham
As St Patrick's Day nears, no doubt the cabinet ministers are drooling at the thoughts of yet another taxpayer-funded holiday. Only Brian Cowen may present the shambolic shamrock to US President Barack Obama, who will immediately hand it to a staffer to destroy it.
Of course the Soldiers of Destiny will swear on a stack of dog-eared school books that these trips to wherever the Irish diaspora reside are vital and that the thousands of euro cut from health, education, roads and essential services is of absolute necessity to showcase Ireland.
No pain, no gain is the watchword of these men and women as they traipse around the world for St Patrick's Day.