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Zappone turns down special envoy role amid growing controversy over appointment

Katherine Zappone will not accept the appointment by the Government to be a UN Special Envoy. The...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.48 4 Aug 2021


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Zappone turns down special env...

Zappone turns down special envoy role amid growing controversy over appointment

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.48 4 Aug 2021


Share this article


Katherine Zappone will not accept the appointment by the Government to be a UN Special Envoy.

The former minister was controversially appointed to the job last week.

It emerged today Ms Zappone hosted around 50 friends and former colleagues - including the Tánaiste - at a gathering at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin several days before the appointment.

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The hotel has insisted they’ve adhered to COVID-19 guidelines at all times.

However, the controversy has led to calls from the opposition parties and even a Government senator for Ms Zappone to not accept the job.

Ms Zappone confirmed this afternoon she now won't take up the role as Special Envoy for Freedom of Opinion and Expression.

She said: "While I am honoured to have been appointed by the Government to be the Special Envoy on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, it is clear that criticism of the appointment process has impacted the legitimacy of the role itself.

"It is my conviction that a Special Envoy role can only be of real value to Ireland and to the global community if the appointment is acceptable to all parties.

"For this reason, I have decided not to accept this appointment, and I have communicated my decision to the Minister for Foreign Affairs."

Meanwhile, the Government has released a statement saying the Attorney General has advised that organised outdoor events and gatherings of up to 200 people are allowed.

They said that includes "social, recreational, exercise, cultural, entertainment or community events".

The statement notes: "Further updates will be made to the guidelines to ensure that people have clarity about how organised outdoor events may operate into the future."

Main image: File photo of Katherine Zappone and Leo Varadkar. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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