The Irish Government has announced that 11 ministers and five ministers of State will attend St. Patrick’s Day events overseas throughout the month of March. Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny has said that these trips are an investment in Ireland’s economic recovery.
Kenny said, “The Government will use the unique global opportunity of St Patrick’s Day to bring that message to all our key global markets and to Ireland’s many friends around the world.”
He continued, “The clear message from the Invest in Ireland event hosted by President Bill Clinton in New York recently was that investors have faith in Ireland and in our capacity to bring about economic recovery. That message was echoed by the Chinese Vice President, Xi Jinping during his recent visit.”
The Irish leader, Enda Kenny, will travel to Chicago, South Bend in Indiana and to New York. He will also attend the traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebrations as a guest of President Barack Obama at the White House. However, this year the official gifting of the bowl of shamrocks will take place on the 20th March, due to a clash with the planned British State visit.
Ireland’s Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Eamon Gilmore will visit Canada to promote trade, culture and community.
The other ministers will travel to 15 of Ireland’s trading partners along with seven locations in the US. Joan Bruton will visit New York, Richard Bruton, the West Coast, Jimmy Deenihan will travel to Atlanta, and Frances Fitzgerald will go to Boston.
Leo Varadkar and Michael Ring will visit London and Birmingham and Dinny McGinley will visit Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Ministers travelling to Europe include Michael Noonan (France), Pat Rabbitte (Italy), Simon Coveney (Benelux), Paul Kehoe (Germany), and John Perry (Finland and Sweden).
Minister of State Ciarán Cannon will travel to China. Brendan Howlin will undertake the lengthy trip to Singapore and Alan Shatter will travel to Australia and New Zealand.
Enda Kenny’s engagements in Washington include the Speaker's Lunch on Capitol Hill, hosted by John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He will also meet with vice-president Joe Biden and other US leaders.
On 16th March Kenny will travel to Chicago to meet mayor Rahm Emmanuel, participate in the local parade, and address the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago St Patrick’s Day Dinner. Kenny will then travel to the home of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.
After a private day in New York, he will visit the New York Stock Exchange and attend an American Ireland Fund Gala Dinner.
Tanaiste Gilmore commented, “St. Patrick’s Day is a unique opportunity to promote Ireland abroad. Few, if any, other countries have a national day which is so widely known and celebrated across the entire globe. As a country we should maximize the value we get from such global attention and goodwill.”