Noonan presence at Bilderberg group conference cost €4,300


The cost of Minister for Finance Michael Noonan’s attendance at the annual conference of the secretive Bilderberg group in the US this month was more than €4,300, he has told TDs.

He was invited to attend the meeting “given my position as Minister for Finance” and used the opportunity to tell fellow attendees of the opportunities that exist in Ireland for investors and multinational companies.

Mr Noonan, along with former attorneys general Paul Gallagher and Peter Sutherland, was one of 145 invited leaders and opinion formers who took part in the three-day conference of the western world’s movers and shakers in Chantilly, Virginia.

His attendance was queried by a number of TDs from Labour, Sinn Féin and the technical group, all of whom sought information in parliamentary questions on his discussions at the meeting and the cost.

Mr Noonan told the Deputies that he outlined the significant progress Ireland was making in restoring stability and growth to the economy.

Pat Nulty, who lost the Labour whip last year over opposition to budget cuts, said Mr Noonan’s response lacked detail.

“The Irish people have a right to know what their senior Ministers are saying at a meeting like this, and what stance they are taking on global issues.”