Irish TD’s Set To Become Christian Missionaries

“And they’re off “.  No, I’m not preparing a commentary for the next National Hunt race meeting at Thurles Racecourse. I’m referring to the number of politicians due to leave Ireland for countries abroad on St. Patrick’s Day next, March 17th 2019, apparently with the blessing of unconcerned, laid back, Irish tax payers.

As our readers will already be aware Ireland’s politicians are deeply religious and feel duty-bound to travel to foreign places, each year, on a religious pilgrimage, promoting their Christian beliefs, in the name of St. Patrick. Of course the real reason they go abroad is to promote Ireland’s dodgy economy and to get that ‘heroin high’ which comes from watching foreigners bow and scrape, in the mistaken belief that those now found intruding in their country are to be regarded as world class leaders.

Which or ever, alas this so called missionary work will be undertaken without the permission and backing of what a Galway author, (the Late Walter Macken), once referred to as ‘The Silent People’; more often referred to now, since 2008, as ‘The Feckin Rightly Screwed Irish taxpayer’.

So, Who’s Going and to Where

Washington DC – Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar (with one other government Minister).
France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Hague – Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Simon Coveney.
South Africa, Namibia and Botswana – Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ms Katherine Zappone.
Argentina & Chile – Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Mr Eoghan Murphy.
Spain and Portugal – Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr Michael Creed.
United Kingdom – Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Mr Paschal Donohoe.
New York – Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Charlie Flanagan.
San Francisco, Los Angeles – Minister for Health, Mr Simon Harris.
Italy and Malta – Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Ms Regina Doherty.
Finland and China – Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Joe McHugh.
Cyprus, Lebanon and Jordan – Minister for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe.
Japan and South Korea – Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms Josepha Madigan.
Australia, New Zealand and Singapore – Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Heather Humphreys.
Canada, Toronto and Ottawa – Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mr Richard Bruton.
United Arab Emirates – Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.
Denmark and Sweden – Minister of State for European Affairs, Ms Helen McEntee.
Boston and Pennsylvania – Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Mr Seán Kyne.
Austin, Denver and Kansas – Minister for Higher Education Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor.
Savannah and Atlanta – Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration Mr David Stanton.
Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia – Minister of State for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Mr Patrick O’Donovan.
Vancouver, Calgary and Seattle – Minister of State for the Diaspora and Development, Mr Ciaran Cannon
India – Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mr Jim Daly.
Australia and Timor Leste – Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Damian English.
Mexico and Cuba – Minister of State for Disability Issues, Mr Finian McGrath.
Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay – Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Mr Pat Breen.
Chicago – Minister for Rural and Community Development, Mr Michael Ring.
Germany and the Netherlands – Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Mr Michael D’Arcy.
France and Luxembourg – Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, Mr John Halligan.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, Mr John Paul Phelan.
Slovakia, Austria and Hungary – Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Ms Catherine Byrne.
Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia – Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Mr Andrew Doyle.
Poland and Czech Republic – Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Mr Kevin Boxer Moran.
Scotland – Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Mr Brendan Griffin.
Russia – Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, Senator Mr Denis O’Donovan.
Washington – Attorney General, Mr Seamus Woulfe SC, and last but by no means least;
Brazil – Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, Mr Seán Ó Fearghaíl.

Well at least now we can all sit back and wave them off on their varying difficult missions, in the knowledge that Brexit, due to begin two weeks later, on April Fool’s Day (April 1st), has been properly sorted. So also, the Nurses and Midwives strike with latter having finally agreed to work for nothing. They can sleep soundly, knowing that some 10,000 homeless people back in ‘Paddy’s Land’ now have a roof over their head. Overcrowding at Limerick University Hospital, latter servicing North Tipperary, and other medical establishments, all overcrowding problems have been reconciled to the distant past. The €450,000 to find out why the construction cost of the national children’s hospital spiralled in one year to over €1.4 billion has turned out to be merely a simple multiplication problem and Tipperary town will no longer be disrupting traffic on the N24.

Oops, sorry I must have dozed off there for a wee minute.

Just a Couple of Minor Observations

Until the British finally jumps ship, there remains, falteringly, 28 EU member states – Ireland is only visiting 25 of these countries. It appears Bulgaria, Romania and Greece are not on their targeted list.

Greece: The parliamentary republic of Greece joined the EU in 1981 and Ireland in the past has been less than sympathetic to their then financial plight.  Bailout inspectors are now due back in Greece as of this month and Eurozone Ministers will decide in March whether to grant relief measures to Greece including the pay-out of some of the profits made by the European Central Bank on Greek bonds. This will be worth watching.

Bulgaria and Romania: Bulgaria and Romania were the only two countries that joined the EU in the 2007 enlargement.  Given that Poland, Hungry and some of the other former Yugoslav states (Croatia, Slovenia etc ) are all being visited – leaving Bulgaria and Romania out seems a bit random, especially since lots of Romanians have immigrated to Ireland in the last 20 years. In April 2016 there were 29,186 Romanian nationals resident in Ireland. The Romanian population increased by 69% between 2011 and 2016. With a population growth of 11,882 persons between 2011 and 2016, and the fourth largest non-Irish nationality in this country (according to the CSO); this was the greatest increase in population size seen among all ten non-Irish nationalities profiled. Therefore, to not visit there surely seems odd.

Turkey: While not a member of the EU, Turkey is not being visited. Turkey, with its recent attempted army coup; the murdering of a journalist; silenced media; human rights offences, etc has been trying desperately to get into the EU since 1987. One would have assumed that the peace making attributes of Mr Finian McGrath could surely have been used here, instead of sending him to Mexico and Cuba.

Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein: You have all heard of the European Economic Area that is separate to the EU. It’s an international agreement which allows for the extension of the EU’s single market to non-EU member parties. One would have assumed that a visit there would have benefited, what with Brexit looming.

Israel: Israel must also feel offended having been left out. Here would have been a place to send Senator Frances Black and Mary Lou McDonald, both seeking to halt the sale of oranges and tomatoes being purchased from Israel’s seized Palestinian territories; latter land formerly used to propel Palestinian rockets to terrorize the Israel people. (One now feels we should have rid ourselves of our so-called Upper House, known as Seanad Éireann, when we had the opportunity.)

Switzerland: Switzerland is neither an EU nor an European Economic Area member, but is part of the single market by way of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA). So Switzerland must also feel grossly offended.

Philippines: No one is travelling to the Philippines, which seems a gross oversight. Here we have a Catholic country, supplying an overwhelming number of nurses and medical professionals, to work in our hospitals.

Egypt, Nigeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon: Why are no TD’s travelling there? Generally speaking African countries are poorly represented. I appreciate the issues that come with the continent, but nothing for Egypt or Nigeria! But TD’s are going to the Arab Emirates. It’s about Geo-Politics and you my brothers and sisters are paying their first class travel and hotel expenses.


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