Minister of State Peter Burke.

Burke travelling to Italy and The Vatican for St Patrick's Day

Minister of State Peter Burke will travel to Italy and the Vatican City for St Patrick's Day.

He is part of the largest ever contingent of ministers, ministers of state and other representatives travelling abroad for Ireland's national holiday. In total, 36 state representatives will visit 74 cities in 44 countries.

The other Midlands-based Minister Pippa Hackett from neighbouring Offaly will head to Kenya and Tanzania.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will travel to Washington to meet US President Joe Biden, while Tánaiste Micheál Martin will be attending events in New York and Boston. Minister Eamon Ryan is heading to Singapore and China, while Minister for Finance Michael McGrath is going to Chicago and Toronto.

The theme of this year's St Patrick's Day programme is '100 years of Ireland in the World'.

In a statement released this week, the Department of Foreign Affairs said that this St Patrick's Day will mark “a century of our country’s engagement as an active member of the international community in the promotion of democracy, peace and security. Ministers will acknowledge a number of important milestones which occur this year: The centenary of Ireland’s joining the League of Nations, the fiftieth anniversary of our accession to the then EEC, and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement”.

“Ministers will emphasise Ireland’s commitment to the international rules-based multilateral system, our membership of the European Union and our commitment to protecting the Good Friday Agreement. The Ministerial programme will celebrate our heritage and renew our links with our global Diaspora and business leaders.”

Last year Minister Burke travelled to South Korea and Japan for St Patrick's Day celebrations.