Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD has called for all communications records relating to the Katherine Zappone affair to be made available to the members of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence (JCFAD) immediately.
The Wicklow TD said that this was necessary to allow members review the communications in advance of next Tuesday’s appearance before the committee by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney.
Teachta Brady said:
“There is a raft of material out there relating to this affair, much of which has been the subject to Freedom of Information requests by members of the Oireachtas, the public and journalists.
“The ongoing delay in issuing these matters of public interest is unacceptable.
“I have written to the Chairperson of the JCFAD, Teachta Charlie Flanagan, outlining my concerns around the failure of Minister Coveney to provide access to these records.
“I am in no doubt that these concerns are widely shared.
“I have specifically requested that all relevant remaining records on Minister Coveney’s phone pertaining to the Zappone affair, along with all communication records between the Department of Foreign Affairs and that of the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform also be made available.
“This affair has rumbled on for nearly six weeks now, and contradictory evidence since suggested that the minister attempted to mislead the committee when he appeared before it on Tuesday.
“He has since attempted to address this outside of committee in what would appear to be an attempt to steer the narrative.
“This situation cannot be allowed to sit. It is in the interests of the Irish people, the government and the Oireachtas that we are allowed to get to the bottom of this issue. But we have to be allowed access to the pertinent information in order to do so.”