Councils’ travel bills to New York exceed €100,000

More than 50 representatives from 22 councils are travelling for St Patrick’s Day

More than 50 county council representatives are travelling to New York for St Patrick’s Day at a cost of more than €100,000.

Representatives from all but four counties will be travelling, with Meath County Council sending the largest delegation of six. It is also sending four to London and said the delegations would "meet members of the Meath diaspora in both cities and attend business meetings".

Meath County Council was one of three local authorities which declined to provide the cost of sending representatives abroad. Donegal and Leitrim County Councils also declined to say how much they were spending while Mayo County Council did not respond to a request for comment.

Louth County Council is sending five people to New York at a cost of €8,000, while Carlow County Council is sending four to New York for €8,000 to "engage with the Carlow diaspora and represent Carlow in the St Patrick's Day parade".

Limerick City and County Council is sending city Mayor Cllr Kieran O'Hanlon, as well as Cllr Jerry O'Dea, Cllr Daniel Butler and Cllr Brigid Teefy to New York. Their trip will cost the council €13,500.

The council’s press office had previously advised that Cllr Michael Collins was travelling, as originally reported, but they later realised this was an error and requested it be changed to Cllr Daniel Butler.


The council decided to send the delegation after it was announced that Limerick man Michael Dowling was to be the Grand Marshal of the New York parade.

Sligo County Council is sending its cathaoirleach Cllr Hubert Keaney along with chief executive Ciarán Hayes and head of enterprise John Reilly at an estimated cost of €10,000.

Wexford County Council is sending two people to New York – leas-cathaoirleach Cllr Michael Whelan and district manager Sinéad Casey, at a cost of €7,500. It is sending three people to Coueron in France, which is twinned with Wexford town. Mayor Frank Staples will travel with district manager Angela Laffan and Cllr George Lawlor at a total cost of €1,500.

Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Michael O'Shea, and tourism officer John Griffin will meet mayor of New York Bill de Blasio and the mayor of Boston Marty Walsh during their trip to the US, which is estimated to cost €5,000.

Niamh Towey

Niamh Towey

Niamh Towey is an Irish Times journalist