Taoiseach: Benefit from sending ministers abroad for St Patrick's Day
Taoiseach Enda Kenny says there is a real benefit to the country from sending ministers around the world for St Patrick's Day.
20 ministers are celebrating the national day in locations across the globe.
Mr Kenny said each had a specific schedule covering the Irish community abroad, The Gathering and promoting investment.
"The benefits will be both ways. Obviously, direct contact at home and understanding of people from Government level that the plan and the strategy is working, we have got a distance to go, but we have come a long way in two years and we intend to continue to focus on making those decisions in the interests of our country and our people," he said.
On the second day of his week-long trip to the USA, Mr Kenny will visit Irish- American communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
Mr Kenny will spend the morning at Breezy Point in Long Island meeting residents.
He will also visit the new September 11 museum, including the new World Trade Centre building and an Irish famine memorial in New York.