Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, in his role as the Minister for Time and responsible for the issuing of visas, notes that a very important visitor is expected to arrive in the State on the 25th of December.

The Minister stated "I want to assure children across Ireland that all necessary arrangements have been made to facilitate the timely arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas Day.

"Santa’s journey will, as usual, be tracked by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (known as NORAD). Girls and boys can follow his progress on He may also be sighted by the Irish Air Corps Radar System when he comes over the horizon late on Christmas Eve to visit families throughout the State.

"No excess baggage travel charges will be imposed on the sacks full of presents it is anticipated Santa will have on his sleigh. Both An Garda Síochána and members of the Defence Forces stand ready on alert to provide him with any assistance required to ensure that all his reindeer, including Rudolph, are properly fed and watered.

"As Chairperson of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, I have asked Met Éireann to ensure that a speedy response be given to any requests Santa makes for information on any threatened extreme weather conditions that could impede his progress.

"Because of the speedy manner in which he goes about his business and the common travel area between Ireland and the UK, it is anticipated that Santa Claus will deliver his Christmas presents throughout Ireland and the UK in the blink of an eye."

The Minister hopes children and their families all over the country have a great time over Christmas.

23 December 2013