Enda Kenny cuts short St Patrick's Day visit to Washington

Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney will also be staying in Dublin for coalition talks

Enda Kenny cuts short St Patrick's Day visit to Washington

Image: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Enda Kenny has cut short his St Patrick's Day visit to Washington next week as Fine Gael continues its attempts to patch together a new coalition.

Fine Gael ministers Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney have also called off their travel plans in order to help in coalition talks.

Enda Kenny and his cabinet are now serving as caretaker ministers after the Taoiseach last night handed in his resignation.

He will now only have one day of events - with foreign affairs minister Charlie Flanagan replacing him for the second day of events.

Three other ministers are also travelling to the USA, with four others staying within Europe, including Tánaiste Joan Burton who will visit Italy. Brendan Howlin gets the only other long-haul journey, in a visit to India.

The Department of Foreign Affairs says the travel programme will focus on trade, investment and tourism promotion.

Given the political vacuum, two-thirds of our 30 ministers will be staying at home - including all the ministers who lost their seats in the election two weeks ago.

Full list of Ministerial trips for St. Patrick's Day

  • An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny USA (Washington DC)
  • An Tánaiste, Joan Burton Italy (Rome, Milan)
  • Minister Charlie Flanagan USA (NYC, Washington DC)
  • Minister Frances Fitzgerald UK (London)
  • Minister Richard Bruton France (Paris)
  • Minister Brendan Howlin India
  • Minister Heather Humphreys USA (Boston)
  • Minister Paschal Donohoe Spain (Madrid)
  • Minister Alan Kelly USA (Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego,)
  • Government Chief Whip and Minister of State Paul Kehoe USA (Philadelphia, Albany, Trenton, Savannah)

Sinn Féin says it can't lead a government itself but deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald says Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil should move quickly to work together:

However Coveney, speaking yesterday, said there will still be several weeks of talking ahead.