€20m cost for Queen, Obama visits - Kenny

Tuesday 21 June 2011 17.13
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Islandbridge - Kenny gives rough estimate of costs
Islandbridge - Kenny gives rough estimate of costs
College Green - Bulk of costs to do with public address in Dublin
College Green - Bulk of costs to do with public address in Dublin

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he expects the total cost of the visits of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and US President Barack Obama to be somewhere in the region of €20m.

However, the visits generated media coverage worth an estimated €300m, according to Mr Kenny.

He told the Dáil the costs for each Department had not been finalised.

The Taoiseach said his own Department had spent around €11,000 on the Queen's visit, mainly on catering and transport for the wreath laying in Islandbridge. That department spent €600,000 on the visit of Mr Obama, mainly on the public address in College Green.

Enda Kenny said he expected that the US authorities would make some contribution to that cost.

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins said the US government should pay all the costs, seeing as they had blocked the burning of bondholders, costing Ireland tens of billions of euro.

Rabbitte regrets sale of State assets

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has told the Dail that if he had a choice and if the country was not in such a mess, he would not want to sell off further State assets.

Pat Rabbitte said that the disposal of State assets can be short-sighted.

But he said the problem is that the country is broke as a result of the decisions made by the former government.