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Government all set to go globetrotting for St Patrick's Day


Enda Kenny

Enda Kenny

Joan Burton

Joan Burton


Enda Kenny

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Joan Burton will be jetting off to America for the Government's annual St Patrick's Day exodus.

Six other ministers are also flying to the US as part of an international trade mission stretching across six continents.

Twenty-seven ministers and ministers of state will visit China, Brazil, India and Australia among other foreign destinations.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Attorney General Marie Whelan are the only members of the Cabinet who will remain in Ireland.

Mr Kenny will visit Washington DC where he will meet President Barack Obama.

The Taoiseach is also expected to visit two other cities during his time in the US, though exact details of those trips have yet to be announced.

During her visit Stateside, Ms Burton will travel to Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Communications Minister Alex White will travel to New Zealand and Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan is going to Brazil.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald is flying to Indonesia and Singapore, while Children's Minister James Reilly is destined for the United Arab Emirates and India.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar will be in Mexico and Alan Kelly is going to China.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin will fly to South Korea and Japan, while Jobs Minister Richard Bruton will visit France.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney will visit Italy while Arts Minister Heather Humphreys is going to London.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan, who will visit Canada and the US, defended the Government's spend on St Patrick's Day trips.

"Last year, for example, as an immediate consequence of our ministerial visits, €5m was gained at a cost of €300,000 for the entire event," he said.

"I am quite satisfied that this money is really well spent. No other country has an opportunity like St Patrick's Day."