Revealed: Where government Ministers are travelling for St Patrick's Day
There has been uncertainty surrounding the future of Enda Kenny of late - but confirmation of his visit to the White House for St Patrick’s Day means he’s going nowhere soon.
The Department of Foreign Affairs tonight announced travel details for 29 government ministers for this year’s St Patrick’s Day trips - and the Taoiseach’s visit to the White House was top of the agenda. Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan stressed the importance of the visits this year in the aftermath of Brexit.
The trips will see ministers promote Ireland’s Brexit strategy in each of the countries.
The Department says that group will be attending some 100 business events in the 27 countries they will be visiting as part of the St Patrick’s Day ‘Promoting Ireland’ programme.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and five of his ministers will be flying to the US to help celebrate St Patrick’s Day there.
Mr Kenny will lead the way, presenting the traditional bowl of shamrock to US President Donald Trump at the White House as part of this year’s programme.
The promotional strategy, organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs, will see 29 ministers travel abroad to celebrate all things Irish.
Mr Kenny will be travelling to Washington, with Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald travelling to Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco; Minister for Children Katherine Zappone visiting Boston and Seattle; Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor will be jetting to New York, St Louis and Chicago; Minister of State Joe McHugh travelling to Philadelphia, New York and the Tristate area; Minister of State Michael Ring will be visiting Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Atlanta and Savannnah; Pat Breen will be travelling to Austin in Texas; and Sean Kyne will be travelling to Cleveland and Columbus.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan will be travelling to Malaysia and Singapore; Simon Coveney and Eoghan Murphy will be travelling to Toronto and Montreal respectively. Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan will be jetting to Australia and New Zealand, and Minister of State David Stanton will visit Indonesia and Western Australia.
Public Expenditure Minister Pascal Donohoe will be flying to Japan and Korea, and Minister of State Sean Canney will visit China. Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty will fly to the United Arab Emirates.
Minister of State John Halligan, a member of the Independent Alliance, will visit Brasilia, Rio and Sao Paolo in Brazil, and Minister of State Helen McEntee will jet to Argentina.
Closer to home, Education Minister Richard Bruton will travel to the UK, with Finian McGrath visiting Scotland.
Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar will visit France; Michael Creed will visit Germany and Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan will go to Italy.
Heather Humphreys will visit Sweden and Denmark while Minister of State Paul Kehoe will visit Lebanon.
Health Minister Simon Harris, Transport Minister Shane Ross and Communications Minister Denis Naughten will remain in the country during the St Patrick’s Day visits.
“It is essential that Irish Ministers continue to highlight Ireland’s priorities to Member State governments throughout Europe, building on the important work that has already taken place. We will also be spreading the message beyond Europe’s borders that Ireland is remaining in the EU and it remains a very attractive destination for investment and trade, for study and for tourism. We are also working hard to deepen our market penetration in European markets,” Mr Flanagan said.