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So Where Are You headed On St. Paddy’s Day?

So what country will you be visiting on the 17th. of March 2018, Patrick’s day?

While you are making your mind up; do be aware that just back yesterday from their 28-day Christmas holiday recess, government ministers are already planning for the ‘St. Patrick’s Day Weekend-Away’, courtesy of the ever-generous Irish taxpayer.

This year St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday and a total of 35 countries will be visited as part of our annual political junket celebrations. Alas only mostly common backbenchers, yet again, to be found in the ‘place d’honneur’, seated on our parade viewing stands.

Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar will travel to the US where he will visit the US President Mr Donald Trump at the White House, while Tánaiste Mr Simon Coveney will lead a large delegation to China and Hong Kong. The Cathaoirleach of The Seanad, Mr Denis O’Donovan is off for a little skiing in Slovenia.

Minister for State for Housing Mr Damien English is set to view the medieval architecture of Poland, while junior Minister Mr Pat Breen is off to Bonny Wee Scotland, soon to be the next breakaway colony of GB.

Our Finance Minister Mr Paschal Donohoe is expected to travel to Argentina this year. (Check his luggage for cash boys; remember the Nazi Ratlines) with Education Minister Mr Richard Bruton taking a linguistics course in German.

Flights are booked to the USA for Attorney General Mr Seamus Wolfe, Minister Ms Heather Humphreys, Mr Michael Ring, Mr David Staunton, Mr Ciaran Cannon, Mr Michael D’Arcy, Mr Brendan Griffin, latter who is also expected to visit President D. Trumps ‘great wall’, from the Mexican side.

Communications Minister Mr Denis Naughten and Minister of State Mr Patrick O’Donovan will say hello to the thousands forced to flee from Ireland seeking a life over the past 8-10 years and now residing in Canada, while Children’s Minister Ms Katherine Zappone and Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty will savour the juice of this years ‘Vitis vinifera’  and ‘Petit Verdot’  grape, in Italy and France, respectively.

Culture Minister Ms Josepha Madigan will drop off in Norway and Sweden, parachuting along the way Junior Minister Ms Catherine Byrne into Denmark and Finland.

Housing Minister Mr Eoghan Murphy will be checking housing prices and rents in South Korea and Japan and Chief Whip Mr Joe McHugh can’t wait to examine how opposition party members end up being shot in Brazil.

Mr John Halligan, widely tipped to travel to North Korea, has instead been forced to present a bowl of Shamrock to the Queen of England.

Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor will be tanning herself in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, and Minister Paul Kehoe will be checking out defences in Cyprus.

Minister of State for Disabilities is Mr Finian McGrath will be off to the Czech Republic, with Junior Minister for Agriculture Mr Andrew Doyle all set to examine the rice paddy field terraces of Vietnam.

Minister of State for Rural Affairs and Natural Resources Mr Sean Kyne is off to Switzerland to look at the profitability of manufacturing Cuckoo Clacks to boost rural job opportunities, with Minister of State for European Affairs Ms Helen McEntee being sent into nearby Austria and Slovakia, to dance the Vienna Waltz in the palaces of Schönbrunn and Hofburg.

Minister of State for the OPW Mr Kevin Boxer Moran, if he survives his visit to Tipperary next week, will study flooding and climate change in Kenya, and the Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform Mr JP Phelan will study electoral reform in Singapore.

Minister of State for Older People Mr Jim Daly will travel to Australia and New Zealand, and the Ceann Comhairle Sean O’Fhearghail will travel to Croatia.

Who’s Minding the Shop?
So, who will be left minding the shop I hear you say?  Fear not, yes once again our old stalwart Transport Minister Mr Shane Ross will remain on hand with the nuclear button on his desk, ready for use if necessary, should North Korea’s Mr Kim Jong-un get pissed off, with all this “greening of the world”.

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