Written Answers - Official Engagements.

Tuesday, 1 March 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 598 No. 5

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  132.  Mr. Wall  Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall   asked the Taoiseach  Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern   his and his Ministers of State’s proposed itinerary for St. Patrick’s week celebrations; if he will report on the briefing given or planned to be given by his Department to the Ministers visiting other countries; the areas and countries covered in such briefings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6623/05]

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The programme for my visit to the United States this month has yet to be [1158]finalised. However, I expect to participate in the traditional ceremonies at the White House and on Capitol Hill and to meet the Ireland America Economic Advisory Board in the course of my visit.

Arrangements for attendance at St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are not yet fully finalised. However, the Government Chief Whip and Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach, Deputy Kitt, is currently scheduled to travel to South Africa for St. Patrick’s Day. His proposed itinerary includes an address to the South African Institute of Race Relations on the Irish economy, attending an Enterprise Ireland dinner and two Tourism Ireland breakfasts and visiting a number of community projects in Soweto, Pretoria and Cape Town.

[1159]The Minister of State at my Department, Deputy Treacy, is currently scheduled to undertake a number of engagements in Hong Kong for the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations there on 11 and 12 March.

In consultation with officials of other Departments and relevant agencies, as appropriate, the Department of Foreign Affairs will co-ordinate briefing for Ministers representing the Government at St. Patrick’s Day events overseas. As in previous years, such briefing will cover a wide range of issues with a view to maximising the unique promotional opportunities offered by the period and to deal with issues of mutual interest.

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