"The now near chaotic political scene in Ireland has cast doubt on how, when, and which government representatives will now participate in the annual Saint Patrick's Day exodus to the US and the White House.
Even the Irish prime ministers annual trip to greet the president with a traditional bowl of shamrocks is in doubt after Brian Cowen announced that the Irish general election will take place just six days beforehand.
Irish ministers traditionally travel around the world during Saint Patrick's week showcasing Ireland as a tourism hot spot (and also as an attractive place to do business). It's an opportunity to highlight the nation that other countries claim to envy.
However, with the climate of political upheaval and with the Irish election date set for March 11, it's unlikely that a new government will be in place to streamline the transition in time."