herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Boat for Hillary was Gilmore's priciest present

Eamon Gilmore gave Hillary Clinton a ceramic currach by Clodagh Redden
Eamon Gilmore gave Hillary Clinton a ceramic currach by Clodagh Redden

HILLARY Clinton got a boat but Tom Cruise had to make do with a book.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore presented the former US first lady with a miniature three-person currach during her visit to Dublin as US secretary of state last December.

The piece – designed by ceramicist Clodagh Redden and costing €160 – was the most expensive single item given by Mr Gilmore in the 12 months to May.

Cruise was handed a €15 book entitled A History Of Ireland In 100 Objects when he came to Ireland last April.

The details were contained in Freedom of Information (FOI) documents provided to the Herald by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Ms Clinton was in Dublin for a two-day meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

In all, some €11,933.43 was spent by the department on gifts in the 12-month period.

The Herald also requested information on presents received by Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Gilmore and Lucinda Creighton, a junior minister in the department until she fell foul of Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The FOI officer said gifts valued in excess of €650 are deemed to be the property of the State.

"No such gifts were received by either the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade or the former Minister of State for European Affairs in the 12 months to May 30, 2013," the official said.

The biggest single outlay came during the OSCE meeting in December, when €3,902.68 was spent on 86 Newbridge carriage clocks.

The clocks were presented to the 57 heads of delegations, as well as 11 partner states.

On March 8, Mr Gilmore presented IMF chief Christine Lagarde with a €15 Patrick Francis scarf.

A further €2,030 was splashed out on 29 handcrafted cufflinks, costing €70 apiece, and €330 was spent on broaches for attendees at an informal meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers and their spouses.

The Herald previously revealed that Taoiseach Enda Kenny has received busts of dead US presidents to a Chinese urn since becoming Taoiseach.

comurphy@herald.ie

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