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Duty calls

• I would like to correct an assertion made by Enda Cormican in a letter regarding my official seven-day visit to the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

The purpose of the visit was to promote Ireland as a tourism destination, pursue trade and investment opportunities, and facilitate Irish businesses through a series of meetings with officials in both countries.

I travelled economy class to the Middle East, and returned a week later on the inaugural Emirates flight from Dubai to Dublin as a guest of the airline.

This particular flight also included a large number of journalists from across the Middle East and Asia, most of whom were visiting Ireland for the first occasion, and all from destinations where Ireland is being actively promoted as a tourism destination.

The assertion that I flew over and back to Dubai for the inaugural flight, at taxpayers' expense, is entirely false.

Leo Varadkar, TD
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport

Irish Independent