Thursday 23 November 2017

First Lady visit cost €82,000 for hire of cars

John Breslin

A CO Wicklow car hire service was paid $114,000 by US taxpayers to ferry around the US First Lady, her two daughters and entourage during a short visit to Dublin last June.

Michelle Obama travelled to Dublin and the Wicklow mountains, while US President Barack Obama was in Co Fermanagh for the G8 summit.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal the total cost for the overnight visit was over $250,000 (€180,500) – with $114,000 (€82,200) spent on car hire.

The documents were released after a watchdog group, Judicial Watch, launched a legal action for the information.

Mrs Obama and her two children, Sasha and Malia, flew to Dublin on Monday, June 17.

Dozens of rooms at the Shelbourne and Westbury Hotels were booked. The bill for the Shelbourne was just over $70,000 (€50,500), the Westbury bill was $53,425 (€38,560).

JP Ward and Sons of Bray was given the job of ferrying them and their entourage around Dublin and Wicklow on the Monday, at a total cost of $114,721 (€82,200).

Irish Independent

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