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Enda is off to Washington, but only a few ministers will get a Paddy's Day trip

A “significantly curtailed programme” of ministerial trips abroad is being finalised in the wake of the uncertain election outcome.

Enda Kenny presents Barack Obama with a bowl of shamrock on a previous visit to the White House
Enda Kenny presents Barack Obama with a bowl of shamrock on a previous visit to the White House
Image: DC photographer Marty Katz

ENDA KENNY WILL travel to Washington for the annual St Patrick’s Day visit to the United States, but the programme of trips for other ministers will be smaller than in previous years.

Kenny remains Taoiseach and ministers remain in their posts until a new government is formed with widespread expectation that this will take a number of weeks, if not months.

The uncertain outcome of the general election means that there is unlikely to be much fanfare accompanying either Kenny or the ministers who travel abroad this year.

The government confirmed this evening that the Taoiseach, having received an invitation prior to the election, will travel to Washington the week after next.

It is not yet confirmed whether Kenny will meet with President Barack Obama in the White House. The trip is likely to take place between the 14 and 16 March.

A “significantly curtailed programme” for other ministers is being finalised by the Department of Foreign Affairs, a government spokesperson said this evening.

It’s expected only a handful of government ministers will travel but the number and the locations they will visit are yet to be confirmed.

None of the three ministers who lost their seats – James Reilly, Alex White and Ged Nash – will travel. However, Tánaiste Joan Burton is expected to travel, her spokesman said.

The next Taoiseach: The people want Micheál over Enda – but a lot want neither

Read: Government has spent €700,000 sending Ministers abroad for St Patrick’s Day since 2011

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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