Written Answers. - Diplomatic Passports.

Question:

178 Mr. Hayes asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the practice involved in allowing former Ministers for Foreign Affairs, who are not members of the Oireachtas, to avail of a facility whereby they can continue to hold a diplomatic passport; the number of persons in this category; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7458/01]

It has long been the practice that former Ministers for Foreign Affairs retained the entitlement of holding a diplomatic passport on leaving office and when ceasing to be Members of the Oireachtas. This entitlement was extended in 1999 to all former Government Ministers.

The number of former Ministers for Foreign Affairs, who are no longer members of the Oireachtas and who may still avail of this entitlement, is seven.

Question No. 179 answered with Question No. 176.