THE GOVERNMENT has released details of the travel itineraries of ministers who are leaving Ireland for St Patrick’s Day.
13 senior ministers, six junior ministers, and the Attorney General are all due to travel abroad as part of the ‘Promote Ireland’ programme.
The government says ministerial-led trade missions are a key part of its jobs strategy for 2013.
Enda Kenny will make his traditional trip to Washington D.C. to meet with the US president Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden, and will also travel to New York to meet city mayor Michael Bloomberg and visit the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore will also travel to Washington, but later depart for Atlanta and New Orleans.
Pat Rabbitte, Joan Burton and Phil Hogan are also travelling to the United States – to Pittsburgh, Chicago and Boston respectively – while Jimmy Deenihan heads for Canada.
Frances Fitzgerald will travel to India, while Ruairí Quinn heads to China and Brendan Howlin take a tour of Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. Leo Varadkar will travel to Japan and South Korea.
Closer to home, Richard Bruton will visit Germany, while James Reilly will travel to London and Birmingham. Alan Shatter will visit the Irish troops on peacekeeping duty in the Lebanon, as well as visiting both Israel and Palestine.
Agriculture minister Simon Coveney and finance minister Michael Noonan are the only ministers not to be leading trade missions.
Among the junior ministers, chief whip Paul Kehoe is bound for Australia and New Zealand while planning minister Jan O’Sullivan will visit Saudi Arabia.
John Perry will visit Glasgow and Edinburgh, while Brian Hayes will travel to Belgium and Luxembourg. Joe Costello, whose brief includes trade, will visit South Africa.
Michael Ring, the junior minister responsible for sport, will be in Italy for the conclusion of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign.
The attorney general, Máire Whelan, will travel to France.