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15th Sep 2021

Katherine Zappone invited to appear before Oireachtas committee

Stephen Porzio

Katherine Zappone RTE Investigates

It comes as Simon Coveney is set to face a confidence motion in the Dáil on Wednesday evening.

Former Minister Katherine Zappone will be asked to appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, according to reports.

Having served as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs from 2016 to 2020, Zappone’s proposed appointment to the role of UN special envoy for freedom of opinion and expression in July 2021 caused controversy.

She later did not accept the position after it came to light that Taoiseach Micheál Martin had not been made aware of the nomination before it was brought to Cabinet.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney recently appeared before the committee and acknowledged creating a “political embarrassment” over the controversy surrounding the special envoy role.

Multiple reports now say that the committee has decided at a private meeting on Wednesday (15 September) to extend an invitation to Zappone to answer questions about the appointment.

It has also been reported that the committee is set to invite Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach Martin Fraser to be quizzed over the timeline of the appointment process.

Based in New York, Zappone cannot be compelled to accept the invitation and appear before the committee.

Meanwhile, later on Wednesday, Coveney is set to face a confidence motion in the Dáil which he is expected to survive.

The debate is due to get underway at around 6pm, with the vote expected to take place sometime after 8pm.

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