Just over a week after he helped clear snow and ice during Storm Emma, Minister of State Kevin 'Boxer' Moran will be jetting off to the hot climate of Kenya to take part in St Patrick's Week events aimed at promoting Irish industry in Africa.
Minister Moran's visit will begin on Monday next, March 12, and he will be departing from Kenya to begin his journey home on the night of Friday, March 16.
If his travel goes according to plan, he still hopes to make it to the Athlone St Patrick's Day parade on Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Athlone's Mayor Aengus O'Rourke is in the US for tomorrow's St Patrick's Day parade in the East Coast city of Providence, Rhode Island.
A number of links have been established between Athlone and Providence in recent years. In 2016 a street in the city was named after Ballydangan native Patrick Griffin, in recognition of his contribution to the Irish community there.
A letter was sent to the Athlone Municipal District last year inviting the Mayor to attend the Providence parade and this invitation was formally accepted at a meeting in October. The parade there is due to take place tomorrow (Saturday).
The visit by 'Boxer' Moran to Kenya is his first trip abroad for St Patrick's Week as a Minister of State.
His itinerary will include appearances on Kenyan TV and radio breakfast shows to discuss the importance St Patrick's Day around the world, as well as Ireland's decision to recently open an embassy in Nairobi.
The Athlone man will be meeting with representatives of the Kenyan Government and will be discussing opportunities for deepening the political, trade, and development links between Ireland and Kenya in the years ahead.
His visit will also include meetings with Kenyan High School students taking part in a science initiative modelled on the Irish BT Young Scientist Exhibition. In addition, he will visit rural Kenya to gain an understanding of the importance of agriculture to the livelihoods of most Kenyan citizens and the extent that Irish experience and expertise is helping Kenyan farmers to become more productive.