Video: Noonan left in charge during St Patrick’s exodus

Ministers travel abroad to represent Ireland for national day

Michael Noonan will be the most senior minister in the country on St Patrick’s Day

Michael Noonan will be the most senior minister in the country on St Patrick’s Day

 

A total of 20 Government representatives will travel abroad to represent Ireland on St Patrick’s Day.

The Government Chief Whip will go to Australia and New Zealand and Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton travels to Germany.

Canada is the destination for Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan while Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin heads to Singapare, Indonesia and the Philipines. The Attorney General Maire Whelan will go to France.

Ministers of State are also travelling, with Alan Kelly going to Newark and Jan O’Sullivan going to Saudi Arabia.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan will in effect be left in charge of the State when Taoiseach Enda Kenny and other Government Ministers travel abroad to mark St Patrick’s Day.

Mr Noonan will be the most senior Government Minister to remain at home when Mr Kenny departs for Washington, New York, Seattle and Silicon Valley and Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore visits Atlanta, New Orleans and Washington.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan ’s destination is Boston, while Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton will travel to Chicago, where she will hold a meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank.

China is Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn’s destination while Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald is set for India.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar is going to Japan.

Some Ministers have already left the jurisdiction, with Minister for Justice Alan Shatter travelling to the Middle East. Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte is due to travel to New York.

Minister of State with responsibility for tourism Michael Ring will be in Rome and Minister of State for the Office of Public Works Brian Hayes is going to Brussels. Minister of State with responsibility for small business John Perry will go to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

At yesterday’s post-Cabinet briefing for political correspondents, the Government press secretary defended the practice of Ministers travelling abroad to represent Ireland around St Patrick’s Day.
“Essentially, and I think there’s a kind of understanding amongst the greater public as well, the idea that you wouldn’t take advantage of the sort of marketing opportunity that is Paddy’s Day is gone,” he said.