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18.31 16 Jan 2018


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The Government has revealed its plan to send ministers abroad this St Patrick's Day.

It says during their trips they will "reinforce key messages" on Brexit, Northern Ireland, Ireland's campaign to become a member of the UN Security Council and the Irish economy.

Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has announced what is being dubbed the 'Promote Ireland' programme of international events.

It will see the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, ministers and the Chief Whip taking part in programmes in almost 40 countries across the globe for March 17th.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is going to the United States of America, Tánaiste Coveney is off to China and Hong Kong, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe is heading to Argentina, while Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan is Australia-bound.

Also heading to the US is Heather Humphreys, Michael Ring, David Stanton, Michael D’Arcy and Attorney-General Seamus Wolfe.

Education Minister Richard Bruton is going to Germany, while Health Minister Simon Harris will be in The Netherlands and Belgium.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed will be going to the UK, while Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy will be in Korea and Japan.

Announcing the programme, Minister Coveney said: "The St Patrick’s Day period provides a unique opportunity to promote Ireland on the international stage, and to renew the strong bonds between Ireland, the global Irish abroad, and our partners around the world.

"This year, the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Ministers and Ministers of State, and Chief Whip will undertake comprehensive programmes across countries in Europe, the Americas, the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, in a truly global celebration of Ireland.

"The Ceann Comhairle and Cathaoirleach of the Seanad will also participate in this year's 'Promoting Ireland' programme.

"St. Patrick's Day provides Ireland with an unparalleled opportunity to promote our political and economic interests abroad, as well as access to key political and business contacts in leading markets around world."

See the full list of indicative destinations below:

Source: Department of Foreign Affairs

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