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Minister takes flak over trip.

DEFENCE Minister Willie O'Dea returned from a trip to Liberia on Friday facing accusations of being a cheapskate.

Mr O'Dea was in the troubled African country visiting Irish troops on a UN peace-keeping mission.

He made the trip on a private government jet -despite the fact troops are having to pay EUR500 to get back home to Ireland.

Last night Fine Gael Defence spokesman Billy Timmins TD said: ''Overseas missions are increasing and although there is an allowance it is not good enough.

"Our troops should not have to pay anything towards their flight home from Liberia. I will be raising this with Minister Willie O'Dea at the next defence question time."
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 5, 2006
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