John Brady TD welcomes decision to call Zappone to appear before Foreign Affairs Committee
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD has welcomed the decision by members of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence to give their backing to his proposal to invite Katherine Zappone to appear before the committee.
The former minister has been asked to give her version of the events surrounding plans to appoint her to a role at the UN, and how others’ changing and contradictory stories about those events have led to a motion of no-confidence in Minister Simon Coveney.
The Wicklow TD said:
“Last week I formally wrote to the chair of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence asking that Katherine Zappone be formally invited to appear before the committee.
“I welcome the committee members' decision to endorse this proposal, and look forward to the attendance of Katherine Zappone.
“She is in a unique position to shed light on the controversy surrounding her appointment which has dominated political discourse over the summer.
“Katherine Zappone’s account of events is critical to gaining an understanding as to what actually occurred between herself, Minister Paschal Donohoe, Minister Simon Coveney and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.
“As a former member of government, and a former senior cabinet minister, Katherine Zappone has a responsibility to the state, to make herself available to answer important questions.
“Katherine Zappone needs to give her account and clarify what she actually believes what was being offered by Simon Coveney, as the texts between both of them clearly indicate that the former Minister believed that she was being offered a job.
“That is despite the fact that Simon Coveney has publicly disputed what appears to be Zappone’s clear understanding that it was a job offer, a job which she continued to lobby for right up to what she believed to be the start date in June, and beyond.
“She needs to clarify the nature, the detail, and times of her lobbying of the three senior Fine Gael members of government, and the Irish ambassador to the UN Geraldine Byrne Nason.
“Minister Coveney faces a motion of no confidence in the Dáil today, on the back of this whole affair.
“From the beginning the whole matter stank of cronyism and insider dealing amongst a political elite.
“To date the minister has failed to provide a satisfactory account of his actions, the timeline of events, and his communications.
“He has deliberately misled the Dáil and the Irish people.
“Katherine Zappone must appear before the Foreign Affairs Committee and give a full and frank account of what actually occurred.
“Failure to do so would amount to a serious failing of civic and moral duty on the part of a former member of government.”