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The new Irish government did St Patrick’s Day on the cheap and swapped five star luxury and private jets for embassy beds and Ryanair flights.
Even the wives were banned from adding to the cost of flying the flag for Ireland.
Government Ministers shunned the traditional five star hotels to save money on the annual St Patrick’s Day whirlwind tour of the world.
Some even flew with low cost budget airline Ryanair in an effort to keep the cost to the taxpayer down.
Fine Gael and Labor Party ministers bunked in with Irish ambassadors and bedded down in Irish embassies to cut costs.
The move is expected to produce dramatic savings on last year’s outlay of €500,000 on St Patrick’s Day travel.
Amongst those to stay in the embassies and official residences were Social Welfare Minister Joan Burton, Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton, Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn and Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney.
Burton stayed at the Irish embassy in London when she represented the government in the English capital.
The ambassadors’ residences in Paris, Berlin and Sydney were home sweet home to Coveney, Bruton and Fitzgerald respectively.
Quinn spent the night at the residence of the ambassador in Rome while Leo Veradkaar stayed in the Irish embassy on his trip to India, birthplace of his father.
Brian Cowen’s government sent 22 cabinet and junior ministers to 24 countries last year but this year Prime Minister Enda Kenny and eight ministers travelled to just eight countries.
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