Taoiseach and 19 Ministers to travel for Patrick's Day events

Taoiseach and 19 Ministers to travel for Patrick's Day events

The Taoiseach and 19 Ministers will take part in events in 21 countries for St Patrick's Day this year, as part of the "Promote Ireland" programme.

When the Fine Gael-Labour Government took office two years ago, ministerial travel for St Patrick's Day was significantly scaled back, with just eight Ministers and the Taoiseach taking part in March 17 festivities outside of Ireland.

Last year, the number increased to 16 Ministers and the Taoiseach.

This year, 19 Ministers and Junior Ministers and the Taoiseach will travel overseas for St Patrick's Day events. They will also take part in 150 business events and 30 high-level political meetings during the trips.

Enda Kenny will make the annual visit to the White House in Washington where he will meet President Barack Obama, while the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore will also be in the US capital.

Ministers Phil Hogan, Pat Rabbitte and Joan Burton will also be America, while Minister James Reilly will be in London.

Richard Bruton will travel to Germany, Alan Shatter is in Lebanon, while Leo Varadkar and Ruairi Quinn will be in the Far East.

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