Micheál Martin: New York

IRELAND'S attendance at a UN conference on eliminating world poverty cost almost €33,000.

The travel bill – including hotel costs, airfares, limousine hire and a photographer – was run up over the course of a week in September by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Seven people from the department, including Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin, were amongst the delegation to make the trip.

Among the events was a high-level UN summit on the millennium development goals designed to help the globe's poorest countries.

For the duration of the visit, Martin was booked into the $400-a-night Fitzpatrick Hotel in New York. His bill came to €2,338.

The total paid to the hotel for the delegation of seven came to €17,244, according to records obtained by the Sunday Tribune.

An airline ticket for Martin cost €2,609 while a flight for his private secretary Aidan Cronin was €2,769.

The other five flights were booked in economy and ranged in price from €587 to €1,207.

Subsistence bills were also claimed by each of the civil servants who travelled, with the claims coming in between €449 and €842.

A trip to the Aisling Centre in the Bronx cost $397 with a $70 gratuity paid to the driver.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was customary to take part in the ministerial week of the UN General Assembly in New York each year.

It said: "As with all travel undertaken ... [we comply] with the Department of Finance guidelines on foreign travel, and [we] also operate [our] own detailed internal travel guidelines and practices, which ensure-cost effective travel practices."