SENATOR Ned O'Sullivan denied this week that his forthcoming St Patrick's Day trip to the US will be a junket saying it is being taken at no cost to the Irish taxpayer.
Senator O'Sullivan was commenting ahead of his St Patrick's week visit to Chicago and the small town of Emmetsburg in Iowa. He hopes the visit will strengthen links in trade, industry and culture, between North Kerry and both Chicago and Emmetsburg. .
"My trip is not going to cost the Irish taxpayer a thing as I am travelling by invitation of the town of Emmetsburg and my Madeleine is paying her own way," he said.
Senator O'Sullivan will link up with Taoiseach Brian Cowen's visit to Chicago (before the Taoiseach travels to Washington DC) as well as Mayor of Kerry, Bobby O'Connell and County Manager Tom Curran.
"I'm especially hoping to nurture bonds for the benefit of North Kerry and Listowel in particular and I feel the visit will represent a wonderful opportunity to do so," Senator O'Sullivan said.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen is to address a large gathering of Irish-Americans in the corporate sector during his Chicago visit in an event at which Senator O'Sullivan says he will be working hard to promote investment in Kerry. The senator will also attend the Chicago Rose selection with Mayor Bobby O'Connell.