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Executive Office will publish costs of St Patrick's trip to US

Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill will travel to the US next week. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

THE Executive Office has pledged to publish the costs of the Stormont ministers' trip to US for the St Patrick's Day celebrations.

The move comes as their counterparts in the Republic have been ordered to minimise spending on the annual stateside visit.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney told the 10 southern ministers travelling to the US next week not to fly first-class, not to stay in hotel suites and not to hire limousines.

The Executive Office has declined to say whether Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill will fly first class en route to Washington next week.

A spokesman said: "We do not comment on the details of ministers' travelling arrangements but costs associated with the trip will be published at a later date."

The first minister and deputy first minister will attend a series of events in Washington DC, including hosting the NI Bureau breakfast and the Speaker's Lunch event at the White House.

They are also scheduled to meet Vice President Mike Pence.

Mrs Foster said the Stormont leaders are "committed to strengthening our relationship with the US and showing off Northern Ireland to an international audience".

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