The benefits of ministerial travel..

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has defended the global travels of Irish government ministers for St Patrick’s Day celebrations as RTÉ News revealed the cost of last year’s trips. Meanwhile, here, the Northern Ireland Department of Culture Arts and Leisure have announced that NI Culture minister, Edwin Poots – the Executive’s only young-Earther? – is currently on a visit to Tennessee and Texas, “build[ing] more meaningful links with Ulster-Scots communities.” He will also be attending the South by South West Music Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, where he might bump into On the Record’s Jim Carroll.. He will definitely bump into others..

He is also meeting up with Belfast’s Lord Mayor, Jim Rodgers and representatives of Belfast City Council who are in Nashville at the same time promoting social and economic links between Northern Ireland through the Sister City initiative.

Oh, and there will be only one Irish government minister at home on St Patrick’s Day. Who is it? Answer below the fold.It’s that man again..

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  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Although it pains me to say it as it concerns the little fecker Bertie and public money – this is a non issue.

    Wouldn’t be suprised if story deliberately encouraged by feckers of destiny – so they can cite it as another example of them being unfairly treated when challenged about something substantial in the tribunals.

  • Hogan

    I am going to hold my breath until a single economic benefit comes out of the Council’s junket to Nashville.

    “Goodbye cruel world….”

  • Rory

    Don’t be cruel, Hogan, we might yet benefit from a return visit from Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers (all together now: “Islands in the stream/ that is what we are…”)

    I shall not make any critical comments upon these Paddy’s Day junkets. That might be hypocritical as I, representing the Rory family and dynasty, will be benefiting from a pensioner’s reduced rail ticket to take me to Luton Town where, in the Great Northern Bar (“the best pub in Britain” – John Hegley, poet), I shall, as Barry Fitzgerald said to John Wayne in The Quiet Man, ” Sup some porter and talk quietly of treason with me comrades”.

    (Nice post, Pete (and “ecumenical” enough to satisfy even Father Jack).

  • Hogan

    Rory if they got Kenny to put on a free concert for Belfast ratepayers outside the front of City Hall all would be instantly forgiven!

  • Greenflag

    Good man Willie . He’ll defend us if the Lovers of Ulster or the UDA plan a quick invasion /coup d’etat while the lads are away blessing the shamrock and chasing the snakes or whatever !

    This wholesale clearing out of the ministerial political class on St Patricks day needs to be assigned a moniker . It’s an event now of long standing and hyped up to bring the good news of Ireland to the denizens of Peking, Sydney and Prague .

    The French had their Three Musketeers . Given that we are a nation at least three times the size of France and with three times it’s population and natural resources why don’t we just call them the NIJ’s Nine Irish Junketeers:(

    There goes our tax dollars yet again ! And we complain to the Unionists about Queenie ?

    Frugality Frugality Frugality . The time for frugality is here !

  • Rory

    “Infamy! Infamy! They all ‘ave it in for me!”

    Kenneth Williams as Caesar fleeing from his assassins in Carry on Caesar.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    can’t agree with you on this – get the feckers of destiny out of the country and dont let them back in – frugality will naturally follow – less feckers to pay off.

    only trouble is the ridiculous little man with his gun how do we get him out of the country ? perhaps the annual Afghan ridiculous moustache competition, paintballing in the Iraq?

  • Greenflag

    “Infamy! Infamy! They all ‘ave it in for me!”

    LOL 🙂

    I think Ciaran Hinds was a more credible Caesar than Kenneth ‘Touch me Titus ‘ Williams 🙂

    Sydney James ‘Pass the soup dear’ as the ceiling collapses in ‘Carry on up the Khyber’ exemplifies the proper response to this vulgar outpouring of our taxes by our fat cats . The older I get and the more I read of these public sector leeches the more I begin to understand the guillotine !

    Still without the effin politicians we’d probably long since have ate each other ! It’s the human condition:(

  • wild turkey

    Austin Texas, a fine town.

    Here’s hoping minister poots has the opportunity for some craic with Kinky Friedman

    In the cute hoors meet the professionals department, does anyone know if the Irish delegation will be staying at the Mayfair Hotel in Washington DC?

  • Moochin Photoman

    If Pootsy misses Kinky he can always see him in The Errigle on the 22nd May

  • Rory

    Maybe Kinky might teach Pootsy to sing his own immortal ballad, Dropkick Me, Jesus, through the Goalposts of Life. That should liven up the Errigle.

    He could also warm the crowd up with this one of Kinky’s thoughts:

    Q: Why are Southern Baptists so all goddamn hellfire agin’ dancing ?

    A: For fear God might think they’re fuckin’ standing up.

  • Greenflag

    Should’nt that have been agin line dancing ?

    ‘Why did the sun never set on the British Empire ‘?

    Because God could’nt trust an englishman in the dark !

  • Rory

    I think it’s all line-dancing in Texas – there ain’t nuthin’ else.

    BTW what are these sly references to line dancing that keep cropping up? I think there must be a story under this that has somehow not reached my tender ears.

  • wild turkey


    fron BBC 18 May 2001 see below

    The leader of the DUP, Ian Paisley, has said line dancing is sinful.
    Mr Paisley, who is also the leader of the fundamentalist Free Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland, issued a statement to be read to members of his congregation telling them it “clearly caters to the lust of the flesh”.

    It continued: “The church regards the country and western style of dance “as sinful as any other type of dancing, with its sexual gestures and touching”.

  • Rory

    Thank you, Wild Turkey.

    “Sexual gestures and touching”

    I had never before considered knee-jerking as a sexual gesture. I do wish I had discovered it earlier as I am always up for new kinks.

    I do howver appreciate the taboo against “touching”. It is the defining no-no of the British character and is recognised as such throughout the world. No British person would ever willingly “touch” another human being and can be observed as visibly horrified should they accidentaly brush against a fellow human being on the tube for example.

    But they are not a cruel or unkind people regardless of this and allow special “touching” dispensations to those in charge of small boys’ bottoms such as schoolmasters, vicars, scoutmasters and prison warders.

    Mr. Paisley was clearly only staking out his strong affinity with British identity here and it would be churlish of us, in the new dispensation, to deny him that.

  • pith

    It’s a bit off thread but dammit I’ve scrolled down as far as I can go and can find nothing else to hang it on; have any of the local MPs made any claims under the so-called ‘John Lewis’ list at Westminster?

  • BfB

    ‘A Government spokesman confirmed the carbon footprint caused by thousands of miles of air travel by the Cabinet will be offset to protect the environment.’

    Tsk, tsk.