Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Ceisteanna (260, 261)

Ciaran Lynch

Ceist:

307 Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the itineraries that are in preparation for Ministers and Ministers of State to represent Ireland abroad over the course of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2144/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

David Stanton

Ceist:

313 Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the plans that Ministers and Ministers of State have to take part in St. Patrick’s Day 2011 celebrations across the world; the contact he has had with various governments, embassies, organisations and so on in relation to such celebrations; the locations of celebrations to be attended; the dates and duration of the expected trips; when travel and event plans will be finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2777/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 307 and 313 together.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has responsibility for co-ordinating the programme of Ministerial St. Patrick's Day visits globally, in co-operation with the Department of the Taoiseach and other relevant Departments. In fulfilling its co-ordination role, my Department will have full regard to the recommendations contained in the recently published strategy document ‘Trading and Investing in a Smart Economy', which emphasises the value of St Patrick's Day in providing a unique opportunity to raise Ireland's profile abroad, in delivering clear marketing messages and in strengthening relations with other countries.

I can confirm that, in line with normal planning practice, officials in my Department have asked Embassies and Missions, in consultation with relevant State Agencies on the ground and other stakeholders, to submit proposals regarding St Patrick's Day in their areas of accreditation. These proposals are currently being assessed in my Department. I would envisage that the Government will consider recommendations based on these proposals in the near future.