Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (423)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

423. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide details of all official foreign trips he and Ministers of State in his Department intend to take between now and the end of 2014; if he will detail whom they will be meeting with on these trips; the purpose of the trip; the duration of the trip; if there are plans to use all of these trips to promote Ireland as a good place for doing business and as a destination for foreign direct investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21854/14]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

I would like to advise the Deputy, that both I, as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and my colleague, Deputy Dinny McGinley, Minister of State, undertake foreign trips from time to time in order to fulfil our official duties. Every effort is made to maximise the opportunities that such trips present to promote Ireland and full itineraries are planned in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Two official overseas engagements have been confirmed in my diary between now and the end of this year as set out below.

My attendance at this year's International Famine Commemoration, which is due to take place in New Orleans between 6 and 9 November of this year, has been confirmed. My attendance at this event arises from my role as Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, which was established by Government to commemorate the victims of the Great Irish Famine with an annual National Famine Commemoration Day, as well as a parallel overseas event. The itinerary for this year's International Famine Commemoration is currently being developed in consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Irish Consulate in Atlanta and further details will be announced in due course.

My attendance at the Education, Youth, Culture and Sports (EYCS) Council meeting, which is due to take place in Brussels between 20 and 21 May, has also been confirmed. I can advise the Deputy that, as of now, Minister of State McGinley has no overseas engagements confirmed to the end of this year. The Deputy will appreciate, however, that further overseas engagements could potentially be proposed for either the Minister of State or for me over the course of the remaining months of this year.