Minister Donohoe marks St Patrick’s Day with visits to France and Bulgaria

12th March, 2024

The Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., will today (Tuesday) start his St Patrick’s Day programme with an official visit to Paris, where he will undertake a series of political, community, business and student engagements on behalf of the Irish Government. Later in the week, the Minister will travel on to Sofia to continue his St Patrick’s Day programme of events. 

The theme of this year’s international St Patrick’s Day Programme is ‘Ireland’s Future in the World’, which focuses on young Irish people – at home and abroad -and their perspectives about the world of the future and Ireland’s place in it. 

Minister Donohoe, who is also President of the Eurogroup, will be in Paris from Tuesday 12th to Thursday, 14th March. During his visit, he will hold a number of high-level political meetings, including with French Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, Bruno Le Maire; and Secretary General of the OECD, Mathias Cormann.  

Recognising the focus on young Irish people and our Diaspora as the theme of St Patrick’s Day 2024, Minister Donohoe will deliver a keynote address at Sciences Po University on the theme of ‘Unlocking the potential of the euro area’s economic landscape’. The Minister will visit the Centre Culturel Irlandais to launch an exhibition commemorating 100 years of Ireland’s participation in the Olympic Games and will participate in a number of economic and trade-focused events, as well as having the opportunity to further engage with the Irish community in Paris at the Embassy’s St. Patrick’s Day reception.  

Minister Donohoe will then travel to Sofia on Thursday, 14th March, where he will stay until Saturday, 16th March. While in Bulgaria, he will have a number of high level political engagements, including a meeting with President Rumen Radev, as well as meetings with Prime Minister, Nikolai Denkov; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mariya Gabriel; and Finance Minister, Assen Vassilev.  

Minister Donohoe will also participate in a conference on ‘Bulgaria’s European Path – Accession to the Euro Area, Benefits and Challenges for Businesses’. He will also participate in an event organised by the Embassy of Ireland at the Bulgarian National Library.  

Throughout the week, Minister Donohoe will also undertake a number of media engagements.  

Speaking in advance of the commencement of his programme, Minister Donohoe said: 

“St. Patrick’s Day and the opportunities it presents to us as a country helps us to further develop our relationships with key business and community leaders across the world, to celebrate all that being Irish is about and to forge stronger and more enduring ties with decision makers across a range of sectors. 

“It is a tremendous honour to represent Ireland on the global stage during our St. Patrick’s Day programme and I am delighted to be visiting two of Ireland’s important EU partners, France and Bulgaria, to celebrate this year.  

“France is Ireland’s closest EU neighbour, and our bilateral relationship continues to go from strength to strength across a wide range of areas, encompassing trade, tourism, education, culture and sport. I am particularly looking forward to engaging with young people and the Irish Diaspora during my engagements in Paris, and hearing first-hand from them about the richness of our relationship with France. 

“Ireland also enjoys an excellent bilateral relationship with Bulgaria, which has only been enhanced by our common EU membership. I am particularly pleased to be able to visit Bulgaria, a country which has been clear in its euro area aspirations, and am greatly looking forward to a range of political, cultural and business engagements while in Sofia.”





Tuesday, 12th March (Paris)

  • Keynote address and engagement with students at Sciences Po Paris 
  • Engagement with Tourism Ireland and Bord Bia

Wednesday, 13th March (Paris) 

  • Opening address at Enterprise Ireland Climate Tech and Decarbonisation Event 
  • Engagement with Network Irlande on French-Irish business connections
  • Open Embassy Olympics exhibition on ‘100 Years of the Games: Ireland’s Journey’ 
  • Bilateral with Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, Bruno Le Maire
  • Bilateral with Secretary General of the OECD Mathias Cormann 
  • Saint Patrick’s Day reception                   

Thursday, 14th March (Paris)

  • Paris Saint Patrick’s Day Political Reception 
  • Visit to Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) and engagement with Enterprise Ireland clients 

Friday, 15th March (Sofia)

  • Bilateral with Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov 
  • Bilateral with Deputy Prime Minister Mariya Gabriel
  • Opening of Irish Book Corner                     
  • Meeting with President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev
  • Meeting with Finance Minister Assen Vassilev
  • Conference: “Bulgaria’s European Path – Accession to the Euro Area, Benefits and Challenges for Businesses”