TDs, ministers ‘should be here for Paddy’s Day’

by Staff Reporter
Clondalkin councillor Trevor Gilligan has released his Christmas song, Christmas Kiss

A LOCAL Fianna Fail councillor says that TDs and ministers should stay local this St Patrick’s Day and foreign dignitaries should be invited to Ireland instead.
Dublin Mid-West TD and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald will spend St Patrick’s Day in India.
Her office confirmed that she would travel to the world’s largest democracy over the holiday weekend to promote Irish-Indian trade.
However, Fianna Fail councillor for Clondalkin Trevor Gilligan said that while some aspects of the trips were understandable, TDs should stay local.
He said: “I appreciate that they feel that these visits might be of benefit, but the perception of regular people is very important.
“Personally, I will be in Clondalkin on St Patrick’s Day, attending the session at Round Tower GAA club. Local representatives should make an effort to be around the constituency on St Patrick’s Day.
“I think foreign heads of state would look favourably on being invited here for St Patrick’s Day, and business being conducted here.
“I don’t see how we can ask for foreign investment when we are meeting foreign dignitaries abroad,” said Cllr Gilligan.
Overall, at least 10 members of the Cabinet, including the Taoiseach and Tanaiste, will travel abroad, visiting Britain, Japan, the US and the Middle East.
It is believed that each ministerial visit costs the Exchequer somewhere in the region of €4,500. In 2012, the travel of 12 ministers cost €53,142, with three further ministers’ costs not disclosed.
In 2010, 22 members of the Cabinet, as well as the Attorney General, travelled abroad, at a cost of more than €200,000 to the taxpayer.
Minister Fitzgerald had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to print.

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