'Santa's sleigh is fully approved' - Minister for Transport grants Santa Claus all clear to enter Irish air space tonight
Santa Claus has been granted permission to enter Irish air space tonight to deliver gifts to the children of Ireland.
In an official statement, Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport, Shane Ross, said Santa, Mrs Claus and 'associated reindeer' have been granted permission to fly over the country from 5pm.
Speaking from Leinster House, Minister Ross said, “My aviation chiefs have been in touch with Santa and assured him that there will be no obstacle to his entering Irish air space as soon as it gets dark this Christmas Eve.
"Santa’s sleigh has been checked for air worthiness and is fully approved for round-the-world travel. All permits and insurance credentials are in order."
Minister Ross added that he has been informed that Mrs Claus is also travelling with Santa this year "in her role as chief navigator" and that she has "advised that milk, cookies and carrots are the best items for children to leave out before they go to bed”.
Mrs Claus has assured Minister Ross that Santa's sleigh will be an "alcohol-free" zone.
She said, “Like yourself I am committed to keeping people safe and well, whether in the air or on the road, and I urge everyone to do likewise.
"So if you’re in charge of driving anything at all, be it a car, a sleigh or a scooter, please wait until you’re home before you enjoy a well-deserved Christmas drink.”
According to Minister Ross, Santa now insists on being breathalysed before setting off on his extensive overnight travels in order to "set a good example to everyone".
Santa also hopes his new electric motor sleigh will encourage drivers to purchase electric and go green if they're buying a car in the new year.
It is believed that Santa will be accompanied by a team of nine reindeer and a large flying sleigh tonight.