THE annual 'migration' of Government ministers on St Patrick's Day junkets to all corners of the world has rightly come in for some criticism in years past.
This year, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has sharply curtailed the number of such trips, as his Government struggles to come to terms with the economic recession.
Just nine Government representatives are jetting abroad, down from 22 last year under the Fianna Fail/Green coalition.
Mr Kenny will mark St Patrick's Day by his first meeting with US President Barack Obama at the traditional White House handover of shamrock.
Around 34 million people in the US claim some Irish ancestry and the trip is a vitally important one, given American firms' huge investment in Ireland.
Other ministers are visiting New York, Italy, Britain, India, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.
We wish them good luck. Bring us back some multi-nationals.