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