Tag Archives: Simon Harris

This morning.

Dublin Castle. Dublin 2.

Fine Gael Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris and Fine Gael Minister for Justice Helen McEntee arrive for a cabinet meeting. Both are front-runners to replace Leo Varadkar among Fine Gael members in a poll conducted by the Irish Examiner.

The future’s bright.

Coveney’s FG leadership hopes fade — McEntee or Harris to replace Varadkar (Irish Examiner)

This morning.

Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris warding off the media as he launched the Innovation Exchange, a €5m collaboration between Skillnet Ireland and Dublin BIC ‘which aims to connect Irish SMEs with global businesses’.

Minister Harris has also announced €2.4 million (yes, two and a half big ones) in funding for the Defence Forces to ‘develop solutions to challenges facing them’. It may allow them to purchase an old Soviet tank and a cache of helmets used in the Falklands.

Sam Boal/RollingNews

This afternoon.

Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy (top) defended using dáil privilege last night to ‘out’ Simon Harris as the minister who allegedly leaked details of Katherine Zappone’s appointment to the press.


Mr Carthy told RTÉ News at One that Taoiseach Micheál Martin has a responsibility to investigate the leaking of Cabinet information and said that “if anyone has evidence it is Fine Gael” and they should share any evidence on the matter to An Garda Síochána.

He said that he “only knows what is general knowledge” that a sting operation was conducted by a junior minister.

The Cavan/Monaghan TD said his remarks are not a surprise to anyone in the Oireachtas, in the media or within Government circles and he does not think “there should be any problem with the public being aware of what is the talk of Irish political circles”.

Carthy stands over Cabinet confidentiality claims (RTE)

Earlier: Confident Swagger


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

This afternoon.

IFSC, Dublin.

Simon Harris, Minister for Higher and Further Education, Research, Innovation and Science, inspects a ‘sensory room’ at the National College of Ireland (NCI) alongside the college’s Robert Ward. NCI is the second higher education facility in Ireland to be designated as an Autism Friendly Higher Education Institute by AsIAm.

Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

This morning.

Via The Irish Times:

Records released under the Freedom of Information Act to the Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty and seen by The Irish Times show increasingly urgent attempts by Mr Harris to obtain a copy of the draft agreement between the State and the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO). This was happening at the same time as Mr Varadkar had posted a copy to the home address of Dr Ó Tuathail, who was head of the now-defunct National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP).

Varadkar leaked GP contract while Harris urgently sought copy (Irish Times)


Uh oh.


March 26, 2020


Last night

Yesterday evening.

A motion supported by Solidarity PBP, The Social Democrats, Sinn Féin, Labour and all Independent TDs to reinstate the same rate of pay that student nurses and midwives were given at the start of the pandemic was defeated by 77 votes to 72. Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party all voted against the plan.

When the payment was first announced, Mr Harris said:

“This is an offer and not an obligation. But I know so many of our student nurses want to play their role as we navigate our way through these difficult times.”

Student nurses will be paid during Covid-19 crisis (RTÉ, March 26)

Dáil vote against paying Student Nurses and Midwives (Buzz.ie)

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris

This morning.

RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Claire Byrne.

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris, who was the Minister for Health at the time Leo Varadkar leaked a confidential government document on GPs’ pay to a friend, spoke about the controversy.

Claire Byrne: “This was your negotiation. Did you know at the time that the Taoiseach was getting this document that you had worked so hard to agree with the IMO and sneaking it off to his friend at the National Association of GPs?”

Simon Harris: “Well I don’t agree with that characterisation and we’ll come back to that in a moment. But no, I didn’t know. I didn’t know that the then Taoiseach was going to provide this document to the president of the National Association of General Practitioners. But I do very much accept his bona fides and what he was trying to achieve here in terms of an agreement that had now been reached, an agreement that had been announced indeed by himself and myself in a very public way on a Saturday, I think it was a Saturday, the 6th of April and then indeed I had actually brought a memo to Government on the 9th of April confirming that the engagement between the parties had concluded…”


Byrne: “He was undermining you because if anyone was going to share that agreement with the NAGP, it was you?”

Harris: “No I don’t believe he was undermining me and I don’t think it’s about me either…”


Byrne: “But it’s he obvious conclusion, it’s the obvious conclusion right. You’re doing an negotiation, you’re doing it with the Department of Health, with the IMO, all of this has been worked through in terms of the framework that should be followed and yet the Taoiseach is saying I want to get all the other doctors signed up to this, so he gets your document and sends it off to another crowd you have decided, quite rightly, that you’re not in negotiating with, this organisation, because of the framework that’s in place.

“There’s no other way to look at this. You are undermined here, minister.”

Harris: “I’m sure that wasn’t intentional because the negotiations had been concluded…”

Earlier: Leaking Confidence

Derek Mooney: Best Practice


Former Minister for Health and current Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris.

Last Sunday

This afternoon

Orla writes:

He wasn’t struggling last weekend…


Earlier: Par For The Course

 Resigned [Updated]

“An Unintended But Serious Lapse Of Judgment”

Put Your Dukes Up