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Irish Government Embassies across the world rack up over €100,000 spend on St Patrick’s Day festivities

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 14: during the 53rd Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade March 14, 2004 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 10,000 people came out to watch parade which featured more then 120 marching units and included musical bands, Irish dancers, and Irish culture groups. St. Patrick's Day is March 17, 2004. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
Nine embassies and consulates spent more than €100,000 on the celebration [Picture: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images]
OVER €100,000 was spent on St Patrick’s Day parties in nine Irish Government Embassies across the world, it has been revealed.

The highest spend came from the Irish Consulate in New York, which spent €36,006 on eight separate events, of which €25,762 was spent on food.

The figures were obtained by The Irish Times under a Freedom of Information request.

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Consulates and Embassies in London, Washington DC, Beijing, New Delhi, Pretoria, Ottawa and two Missions in Paris also contributed to the €105,280.98 bill.

The majority of the spending was on food and drink, which came to a total of €96,649.

A further €4,534.95 was spent on entertainment, €2,330.82 on venue hire and €1,846.66 on flowers.

The second highest spend was at the Embassy of Ireland in Washington DC, which spent €28,742, on celebrating the cultural event.

The American-based Embassy also hosted a reception attended by high-profile figures including Taoiseach Enda Kenny,  Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

The Embassy in London spent €9,092 on four functions, including their St Patrick’s Day community reception attended by former Father Ted actress, Pauline McLynn.

Due to the collapse of the Fine Gael-Labour coalition after the 2016 Irish election, just eight ministers from the former Government travelled abroad to celebrations during St Patrick’s Day week.

Last year, 29 members of the Irish Government travelled outside of Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day and to meet with politicians and dignitaries in embassies and consulates across the world.

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