THE GOVERNMENT HAS released details of where governments ministers will be heading for the St Patrick’s Day’s festivities next month with some 28 ministers jetting off to 23 different countries.
These include Social Protection Minister Joan Burton attending events in New York with controversy likely to arise over whether or not she takes part in the St Patrick’s Day parade.
Burton has already indicated she will not participate over the parade’s ban on gay rights slogans.
Some of the other trips include Justice Minister Alan Shatter heading to Mexico, while the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore will be in France, Finance Minister Michael Noonan is going to Canada, and Environment Minister Phil Hogan is going to the United Arab Emirates.
Russia is also back on the St Patrick’s Day agenda for the first time since 2010 with junior health minister Alex White off to the country whose anti-gay propaganda laws have caused controversy in recent months.
Separately, Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be in Boston, New York and Washington DC next month with the traditional bowl of shamrock being handed over to US President Barack Obama at the White House.
The ministers are taking part in what the Department of Jobs is calling the St Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” programme with a total of 28 Ministers taking part in over 100 business events and 80 “high-level political meetings” in 23 countries.
Only Education Minister Ruairí Quinn and Minister of State Brian Hayes are not travelling this year.
Here’s the full list of where they’re headed…
- France – Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore
- Canada – Minister Michael Noonan
- China – Minister Brendan Howlin
- Italy – Minister Richard Bruton
- New York – Minister Joan Burton
- San Francisco – Minister Jimmy Deenihan
- London and Birmingham – Minister Pat Rabbitte
- United Arab Emirates – Minister Phil Hogan
- Mexico – Minister Alan Shatter
- New Zealand and Eastern Australia – Minister Simon Coveney
- Japan and Korea – Minister Frances Fitzgerald
- Boston and Cleveland – Minister James Reilly
- Atlanta and Savannah – Minister Leo Varadkar
- Washington DC – Attorney General Máire Whelan SC
- Lebanon – Minister of State Paul Kehoe
- Scotland – Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan
- Pittsburgh and Philadelphia – Minister of State Dinny McGinley
- Spain – Minister of State John Perry
- Netherlands – Minister of State Michael Ring
- Vietnam – Minister of State Kathleen Lynch
- Germany – Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd
- Chicago and Kansas City – Minister of State Sean Sherlock
- Romania – Minister of State Ciaran Cannon
- Western Australia – Minister of State Alan Kelly
- Russia – Minister of State Alex White
- Norway – Minister of State Tom Hayes
- Belgium and Luxembourg – Minister of State Paschal Donohoe
- Singapore and the Philippines – Minister of State Joe Costello
First published 11.40am