Tag Archives: Simon Coveney

The Irish Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

This afternoon.

Via RTÉ News:

The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised Irish citizens in Ethiopia to leave the country immediately.

International concern has been increasing due to the escalating war in Ethiopia as Tigrayan rebels edge closer to the capital Addis Ababa.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said that around 80 Irish citizens in Ethiopia have been advised it would be prudent to leave the country due to an escalation in the political situation in the conflict-ridden country.


Statement On November 5 from the UN Security Council on the situation in Ethiopia

Via AP:

Ethiopia has ordered four of six Irish diplomats working in Addis Ababa to leave the country because of Ireland’s outspoken stance over the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia

The Department of Foreign Affairs said Ethiopia’s government informed the Irish Embassy in the Ethiopian capital that the four must leave within one week. The Irish ambassador and one other diplomat were allowed to stay.

In a statement, the department said that Ethiopian authorities indicated this was “due to the positions Ireland has articulated internationally, including at the U.N. Security Council, on the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia.”

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the yearlong war between Ethiopian and allied forces and fighters from the country’s northern Tigray region, who long dominated the national government before Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office

Ireland and African members of the U.N. Security Council led a statement on Nov. 5 calling for a cease-fire, stressing the importance of full humanitarian access to Tigray and political dialogue between parties.

Ethiopia expels Irish diplomats over Ireland’s stance on war (AP)

Pic: DFA

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney this afternoon

This afternoon.

Merrion Street, Dublin 2.

West Brit hits the fan.

Coveney to attend event marking NI centenary after President Higgins declined invitation (Independesnt.ie)




Last night.

Government Buildings.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney departs the grounds of Leinster House following the defeat of a Sinn Féin vote of no confidence over his botched handling of Katherine Zappone’s UN appointment.


An allegation made in the Dáil yesterday by Sinn Féin politician Matt Carthy about Minister Simon Harris was “appalling” and “an abuse of Dáil privilege”, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Speaking under privilege during a Dáil debate yesterday, Mr Carthy accused Minister Harris of leaking from Cabinet.

A spokesperson for Minister Harris said the accusation amounts to “a clear misuse of Dáil privilege and it’s untrue”.

Harris allegation ‘an abuse of privilege’, Fine Gael TD claims (RTÉ)

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Marc MacSharry

Now you know how we all feel.

The Dáil will debate and vote on a Sinn Féin confidence motion in Simon Coveney later this evening.

More as we get it.


This afternoon.

Trim, county Meath.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney held a press confernce at the Fine Gael think-in alongside Tanaiste Leo Varadkar to discuss the Sinn Féin motion of no-confidence in him over his handing of the Katherine Zappone UN appointment

Via Irish Times

Simon Coveney has said he did not act arrogantly in handling the “fiasco” of the Katherine Zappone appointment, ahead of a motion of no confidence in him tomorrow.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs said he was “embarrassed” by it, but stuck by the appointment of the former minister to a UN special envoy role in principle, while apologising for how it was handled.

“The first thing I’d say is that I’m embarrassed about this. This has been a fiasco since the issue was brought to Cabinet and approved by Cabinet,” he said, but returned to his defence of his motivation for the appointment, which he said was “appropriate”.

…“My role in this this has contributed to this becoming a political story that it didn’t need to become,” he said. “It is a real frustration and quite frankly an embarrassment for me to be the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons.”

Pull yourself together, man.

Coveney denies ‘arrogance’ in handling of Zappone appointment (Irish Times)

Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

This afternoon.

Via RTÉ:

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald (above) said if the Taoiseach fails to act, Sinn Féin would take action and a no-confidence motion would be on the table.

She said that Mr Coveney’s behaviour was not of the standard expected of a minister.

Asked again if Sinn Féin would table that no-confidence motion, she said: “It could come to that.”

Taoiseach must sack Coveney today – McDonald (RTÉ)


This afternoon.


Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney before the Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday over the appointment of Katherine Zappone to a special UN envoy role last July

This morning.

Following Simon Coveney’s appearance at an oireachtas hearing to explain the appointment of Katherine Zappone to a position within the UN…

…via Irish Times:

An Oireachtas committee is not the place to go for forensic interrogation. But between rambling speeches yesterday, a number of incisive questioners succeeded in highlighting the legitimate reasons for public disquiet over the affair.

They may not have disproved Coveney’s version of events, but even that account presents a decidedly unflattering picture. If one were to accept everything Coveney says at face value – and many certainly will not – he made at least five big mistakes.

He failed to see that there might be anything wrong with unilaterally appointing a former colleague to a nice position in New York, or the political impact that might have.

In March he failed to tell Zappone she had not actually been offered that job even though her texts to him clearly show she believed that to be the case – well before Department of Foreign Affairs officials began thinking about creating an envoy role.

He blindsided the Taoiseach by failing to tell him about the appointment before it came up at Cabinet.

He deleted official records which should be kept for archiving and transparency purposes and admitted that he does this routinely (Coveney’s definition of official business was extremely narrow and totally unconvincing).

And, when the controversy ignited, he gave partial and confusing evidence to an Oireachtas committee.

Coveney is adamant that the envoy role was not designed for Zappone, and that its creation was the result of extensive deliberations in his department. But the plain fact is that Zappone got it because she had a direct line into the Minister.’

A Debacle Of His Own Making (irish Times)


Pic: Oireachtas TV

This morning.

During an Oireacthas committee hearing on Katherine Zappones’ appontment to the UN…

…Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen asked the minister whether he is now saying that when Ms Zappone text him [in March] to say she was delighted with the offer – that the “offer” was a concept, which she interpreted as a job offer. He asked was that correct?

Mr Coveney agreed it was correct.

He said that it would have been helpful if he had responded to her text to clarify that it was not a job offer at that stage, it was simply a concept that may materialise later.

Mr Cowen asked the minister whether he acknowledged that it appeared from the documents released yesterday that Ms Zappone played a part in defining the specifications for the job in the intervening period, to which the minister said: “No.”


This morning.

Simon Coveney is addressing the joint Oireachtas committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence over the appointment of Katherine Zappone as a UN free speech envoy.

Watch live here

Yesterday evening: Well Now

This afternoon.

Via RTÉ:

Katherine Zappone was told of her impending appointment to a UN role by the Foreign Affairs Minister more than four months before the matter was agreed by Cabinet.

Documents released by the Department of Foreign Affairs show that Ms Zappone thanked Simon Coveney for “this incredible opportunity” on 4 March.

The WhatsApp message details how the former minister asked how long the appointment would be for and what the next steps were.

“Thank you again so much Simon – especially when you have so much on your plate. I spoke with Paschal too yesterday,” Ms Zappone wrote.

Documents here

Zappone told of UN role more than four months before Cabinet agreement (RTE)


This morning/afternoon.

Earlier: Make It Go Away




From top Piglet wine bar, Dublin and from left, Simon Coveney, Leo Varadkar and Katherine Zappone


This afternoon.

More as we get it.


Earlier: Anchor Aweigh