herald

Saturday 24 June 2017

Kenny gets another month as Patrick's Day visit confirmed

Enda Kenny will meet with Donald Trump
Enda Kenny will meet with Donald Trump

There has been uncertainty surrounding the future of Enda Kenny of late - but confirmation of his visit to the White House for St Patrick's Day means he is going nowhere soon.

The Department of Foreign Affairs last night announced travel details for 29 government ministers for St Patrick's Day trips - and the Taoiseach's US visit was top of the agenda.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan stressed the importance of the trips this year in the aftermath of Brexit with ministers promoting Ireland's Brexit strategy in the countries.

The Department says that the group will be attending some 100 business events in the 27 countries they will be visit as part of the St Patrick's Day Promoting Ireland programme.

Traditional

Mr Kenny will lead five of his ministers to America, presenting the traditional bowl of shamrock to US President Donald Trump at the White House.

The promotional strategy, organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs, will celebrate all things Irish.

Mr Kenny will be travelling to Washington, with Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald going to Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco; Minister for Children Katherine Zappone visiting Boston and Seattle and Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor jetting to New York, St Louis and Chicago.

Ministers Joe McHugh will head to Philadelphia, New York and the Tristate area and Michael Ring will be visiting Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Atlanta and Savannnah; Pat Breen will be travelling to Austin in Texas; and Sean Kyne is off to Cleveland and Columbus.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan will be travelling to Malaysia and Singapore; Simon Coveney and Eoghan Murphy go to Toronto and Montreal respectively. Ministers Patrick O'Donovan will jet to Australia and New Zealand and David Stanton will visit Indonesia and Western Australia.

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe will fly to Japan and Korea, and Minister of State Sean Canney will visit China. Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty will fly to the United Arab Emirates.

John Halligan, a member of the Independent Alliance, will visit Brasilia, Rio and Sao Paulo in Brazil, and Helen McEntee will jet to Argentina.

Closer to home, Education Minister Richard Bruton will travel to the UK, with Finian McGrath visiting Scotland.

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar will visit France; Michael Creed is off to Germany and Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan will go to Italy.

Heather Humphreys will visit Sweden and Denmark while Paul Kehoe goes to Lebanon.

Health Minister Simon Harris, Transport's Shane Ross and Communications' Denis Naughten will remain in the country.

"It is essential that Irish Ministers continue to highlight Ireland's priorities to Member State governments throughout Europe, building on the important work that has already taken place," Mr Flanagan said.

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