Taoiseach to travel to Washington and Boston for St Patrick’s Day celebrations

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By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is to travel to Washington and Boston for celebratory St Patrick’s Day events.

Ministers’ travel plans for the week of March 17th were confirmed at Cabinet on Tuesday, a trip traditionally used by the Irish Government to develop business and diplomatic ties around the world.

A bowl of shamrocks is handed to the US president by the Taoiseach at a White House ceremony in what has become a long-standing tradition.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin, is to travel to Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto in Canada, and Minister for Environment, Climate and Transport Eamon Ryan is to head to Brazil.

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Minister for Justice Helen McEntee is heading to New York for St Patrick’s Day (Niall Carson/PA)

Minister for Finance Michael McGrath is to travel to China, while Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe is going to France and Bulgaria.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is travelling to South Africa and Zambia, Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman is travelling to the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka, and Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney is travelling to Bangladesh and India.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is travelling to six Australian cities: Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, while Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue is going to Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee is to travel to New York; Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin to Nashville and Austin; while Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys is travelling to Springfield, Chicago and Madison.

Minister for Education Norma Foley is travelling to Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester and London; and Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris is also travelling to London.

The St Patrick’s Day events are being organised as some opposition politicians called for the high-profile White House visit to be used to push for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

The SDLP has said that it would boycott the White House events over US military support for Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip, but would send a delegation to Washington to raise its concerns.

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