Dept to release files related to Zappone envoy proposal

The Department of Foreign Affairs will release a file of documents later today relating to proposed appointment of former minister Katherine Zappone as a UN special envoy for the Government.

The publication comes in advance of Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney returning to an Oireachtas Committee tomorrow to answer questions about the controversy .

On Saturday, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said there would be a "comprehensive" release of documentation which would bring "clarity" to matter.

He also repeated his view that "a sense of perspective" was required, given the special envoy post was a "part-time position."

However, Opposition parties say Minister Coveney has many questions to answer.

Sinn Fein's John Brady has contended that the Minister misled the Oireachtas Committee at its last hearing - a charge Mr Coveney flatly rejects.

The Labour leader Alan Kelly said "serious questions remain" regarding Mr Coveney's practice of clearing his mobile phone of messages given Freedom of Information rules.

People Before Profit's Paul Murphy has written to the Information Commissioner Peter Tyndall, asking him to investigate whether Minister Coveney TD breached the Freedom of Information Act.

The Social Democrats co-leader Roisin Shortall has claimed that "... when it comes to Fine Gael, connections are more important than credentials."

In his letter to the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence last week, Mr Coveney said the hacking of his phone in 2020 had been dealt with "swiftly and thoroughly" by his department and the gardaí.

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