September 20, 2021
Zappone refusal to attend Committee is an abdication of responsibility – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD has described former government Minister Katherine Zappone’s refusal to appear before the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence as an abdication of responsibility.

Speaking this evening, Teachta Brady said: 

“The decision by Katherine Zappone to refuse an invitation to appear before the Foreign Affairs Committee is an abdication of responsibility. Her refusal is deeply disappointing and adds to the ongoing lack of transparency which has been at the heart of this long running saga.

“Ms Zappone owes it to the Irish people to be upfront and transparent about the events surrounding her appointment to this role. This made up role was due to be a position funded by the Irish tax payer. Therefore, it is shocking and disappointing that Ms Zappone would refuse to come before the Oireachtas and be transparent about exactly how and when she was offered the position.

“It is clear that she has questions to answer that could shed light on the actions of three senior Fine Gael figures in the controversy surrounding her appointment as an envoy to the UN; Ministers Paschal Donohoe, Simon Coveney, and Leo Varadkar.

“Simon Coveney has failed to provide a satisfactory account of his communications with Ms Zappone. Particularly about when exactly she was offered the position as envoy. There is still a concern that Minister Coveney has misled members of the Dáil, that he deleted key texts, and that he is attempting to cover his tracks.

“Katherine Zappone needs to come forward and inform the committee as to when she believed that she was offered the role; a role which she thanked Minister Coveney for before staff at the Department of Foreign Affairs were made aware of the role of envoy.

“Ms Zappone’s refusal to attend is yet another shocking development in this scandal which has exposed a culture within some parts of government where some individuals believe they do not need to be transparent or accountable for their actions.

“I am calling on Taoiseach Micheál Martin to make a direct appeal to Ms Zappone to accept the invitation in order to bring the truth to light.

“This issue is not going away, despite what some figures in government may hope. This culture of cronyism has no place in Irish politics and must change. Sinn Féin will continue to stand up for transparency and accountability in government.”

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