Wexford Sinn Féin has questioned the reasons given by the Taoiseach for sending seventeen members of the government, including County Wexford Deputies Paul Kehoe and Brendan Howlin, abroad for St Patricks Day at the expense of the state. Cllr Anthony Kelly said that these junkets are deeply inappropriate in the current economic climate and entirely unexplainable to those people who are suffering the deadly effects of the recession, particularly those who have been forced to emigrate. Cllr Kelly also described the trips as the Irish politician’s version of a club med break.
Cllr Kelly said;
“On St Patricks Day, Wexford town based Minister Brendan Howlin will be in Singapore, while Enniscorthy Minister of State Paul Kehoe will be in Germany, both at the expense of the Irish taxpayer. Meanwhile 440,000 citizens are unemployed, 50,000 Irish people are becoming victims of forced emigration every year and our government tells us the only solution is to vote yes to a draconian European treaty which will cede what little financial sovereignty we have left to a Germanic led EU. Yet there is funding available to send government TDs abroad on these junkets which have always been the Irish politician’s version of a club med break.”
“Taoiseach Enda Kenny claims that these trips are being arranged so that the Irish government may tell the world that "Now is the time to invest in Ireland’s recovery". Is that not already the sworn duty of our Government? Can they not fulfill that task from Ireland? Will leading the Singapore St Patrick’s Day parade, donning a green lapel and having your photograph taken with a six foot green pint of Guinness help tell the world that Ireland is opened for investment?”