The Tánaiste is due to give a 20-minute statement in the Dáil chamber at 4.10pm on how and why he gave a contract negotiated between the Government and the Irish Medical Organisation to a rival GP group in April of last year.
As well as Mr Coveney, a succession of Fine Gael Ministers have defended Mr Varadkar asserting that much of the information in the document was in the public realm and his only intention was to ensure more GPs signed-up to a long-overdue upgraded contract.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said he has confidence in the Tánaiste but admitted the controversy is a distraction.
Varadkar due to make Dáil statement over document leak (RTE)
Paddy Cosgrave [Web Summit co-founder], who has been a vocal critic of the Government and the political system, and also settled a High Court action taken by Mr Ó’Tuathail – who received the leak from Mr Varadkar – earlier this year.
Mr Cosgrave also provided “strategic advice” on the article, [Village editor Michael Smith] said. Asked for comment, Mr Cosgrave responded with an emoji with a zipped mouth.
When details of his alleged involvement were put to him, he responded with a “thumbs up” emoji.
Mr Smith has said he has “more information” to come on the Varadkar story.
Asked for details, he said the magazine is “going through a whole range of correspondence that [whistleblower Chay [Bowe} received, mostly from Maitiú Ó Tuathail.”
Who are the main players in the Varadkar document leak? (irish Times)
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney (right) meeting with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.
‘Belgium is not on the Green List. Will he isolate upon his return?’
Casement Aerodrome, County Dublin
Minister for Defence Simon Coveney mark the arrival via Switzerland and Denver of three new Pilatus PC-12 NG Spectre Aircraft for the Irish Air Corp.
Saturday’s rally against covid restrictions; Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney.
A tiny minority.
Who MUST be silenced.
On Pat Kenny’s Newstalk Show.
Further to Muzzlegate…
“This is a difficult balancing act, I have to say that the people who were involved in that protest do not represent a majority review, in fact they represent a very, very small minority view.
“It is very unwelcome that people are foolhardy enough to think that they can ignore all of the public health advice, all of the doctors that are repeating the message over and over again, of our national public health team at Nphet, and the Minister for Health and the Government messages, they’re ignoring all of that because they see conspiracies in everything, and they just demand the freedom to walk around without restrictions — that is a tiny minority view.”
“I am not happy, most of the people who saw that demonstration on television would have been angered by it, that’s why I’m saying that the Government needs to try to get the balance right between the right to protest and be heard and the law and the regulations and guidelines that we have to protect the public”
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney
Covid-19: Government to discuss right to protest, says Coveney (Irish Times)
Saturday: We Will Not Be Muzzled
From left: Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinnness MEP, Frances Fitzgerald MEP and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney
Via RTÉ News:
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said he is not ruling himself out as a candidate to replace Phil Hogan as Ireland’s next European commissioner.
But, he said, he would need to be convinced that he would add “significant value” to Ireland’s chances of increasing its profile within the commission and said he is aware that Taoiseach Micheál Martin and his team are currently trying to establish if that would be the case…
It is also understood MEP Frances Fitzgerald is interested in the job and fellow MEP and European Parliament Vice President Mairead McGuinness has already publicly declared her interest.
The Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Green Party leader will meet this evening to discuss the nomination.
Coveney not ruling himself out of commission post (RTÉ)
From left: Simon Coveney, Leo Varadkar, and Vice-President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness MEP
One of his own?
Earlier: A Limerick A Day
Dan Boyle: Phil The Fluter’s Other Ball
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney (above) has said the United States and probably the Britain will not be on a list of safe-travel countries due to be published Monday.
Mr Coveney said the list was not compiled based on politics, but on the “epidemiological data and numbers”.
He said countries that are included in the list “represent no higher risk than Ireland represents”.
“So in other words, travelling to one of these countries wouldn’t be any different than travelling to Kerry, Connemara or Donegal,” he said.
The minister said there is “no question” that the US will not be on the list, and added that it is “very unlikely” that Britain will make the cut either.
It’s “really unfortunate”, he said, because of the integration between Ireland’s economy and the US and UK.
….Mr Coveney added that they are looking at increasing safety measures in airports, including having testing available there.
US, Britain not expected to be on travel Green List (RTÉ)
Minister for Foreign Affairs with his own vehicle arrives for a cabinet meeting at Government Buildings in May
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has been given clearance to keep his State car and Garda driver.
he minister was expected to lose his car and driver after he was demoted from the Tánaiste’s Office after the new Government was formed.
A government source said Mr Coveney argued the ministry involves significant cross-border travel…
17 July 2012: Cabinet notes the review that has been carried out, the substantial savings involved, and small changes to the scheme. Note it will still only apply to Taoiseach, Tánaiste, and Minister for Justice … not the Minister for Foreign Affairs…
Right To Know
Simon Coveney to keep Garda driver and State car (Independent.ie)
In the Dáil.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney answered a question from Rise TD Paul Murphy.
Mr Murphy asked him about the nature of his reported communications with Keeling’s before seasonal workers arrived in Ireland.
Mr Coveney said, after speaking about Brexit…
“In relation to the Keeling’s issue, which has nothing to do with Brexit. My office was contacted by Keeling’s, merely to ask whether or not the airports were going to close or not.
That was the nature of the conversation and we confirmed that they would not be closing.
And the advice was given to consult with the Department of Health to ensure that it was fully understood, that guidelines that were required in the context of essential workers being brought into the country.”
Previously: Fruit Of The Loon
At a press briefing in Government Buildings, Tánaiste Simon Coveney was asked how long the “cocooning” restriction will continue.
“As you know the Government takes its advice from the chief medical officer [Tony Holohan] and his team and the national public health emergency team but I do think people do need to realise that these restrictions may go on for some time.
“I think it’s wrong to put a timeline on it. We’ve set an initial period [until Easter] but I think that it may well be that we will need to go beyond that initial guideline but again that will be a decision taken with the best public health advice that we can get.”
The “cocooning” phase affects people over 70 and those who are medically vulnerable.
They are not allowed to leave their homes and are to have no interaction or minimal interaction with other people. It’s currently scheduled to remain in place until Easter Sunday, April 12.
Previously: “There’s No Fate But What We Make For Ourselves”