It was Well Known, that Zappone was one Nasty Piece of Work, she should come back, and Pay Back, what she Owes the Irish People. First Class Flights for Iron Knickers, Sanctioned by Who???

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Coveney mandarins didn’t want ‘Princess Pushy’ to get UN job

  3 hrs ago


The controversial appointment of Katherine Zappone as a special envoy continues to be the fiasco that won’t go away, courtesy of claims that senior diplomatic staff were opposed to her appointment.Simon Coveney, Katherine Zappone wearing a suit and tie© Provided by Extra.ie

A central plank of the Government’s defence of the appointment is that Katherine Zappone was the perfect candidate for a special envoy role on freedom of speech.

But evidence is emerging that mandarins in Minister Simon Coveney’s Department of Foreign Affairs were somewhat less enthusiastic about the appointment than Ms Zappone herself was.Katherine Zappone posing for the camera: The controversial appointment of Katherine Zappone as a special envoy continues to be the fiasco that won’t go away, courtesy of claims that senior diplomatic staff were opposed to her appointment. Pic: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland© Provided by Extra.ie The controversial appointment of Katherine Zappone as a special envoy continues to be the fiasco that won’t go away, courtesy of claims that senior diplomatic staff were opposed to her appointment. Pic: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

The claims come against a backdrop of embarrassing revelations in yesterday’s Sunday Times that the former children’s minister took a business class flight to Dublin from New York in 2019, leaving her private secretary in economy class, despite clear guidance by the Department of Foreign Affairs for both to fly economy.

Ms Zappone made the flight as part of Ireland’s successful campaign to win a seat on the UN Security Council, and the department subsequently had to pay the €2,877 difference in flight costs. One senior Foreign Affairs source claimed that when it came to Ms Zappone’s UN post ‘there was absolutely no enthusiasm for this appointment’.

The last thing senior diplomats wanted ‘was some LGBT version of Angela Lansbury in Murder She Wrote wandering around with a badge poking her nose in’.Simon Coveney wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: A central plank of the Government’s defence of the appointment is that Ms Zappone was the perfect candidate for a special envoy role on freedom of speech. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos© Provided by Extra.ie A central plank of the Government’s defence of the appointment is that Ms Zappone was the perfect candidate for a special envoy role on freedom of speech. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

‘Of course nothing was said. Diplomats are diplomatic. They were very polite. But no, the mandarins did not want Zappone. Why would they need someone who needed an introduction to Samantha Power? Why do you think it took so long to make the appointment, and why do you think “Princess Pushy” was complaining about radio silence on the issue?’

The senior figure was referring to a communication on June 6 from Ireland’s UN ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason to a department official saying Ms Zappone had been in touch asking about her nomination as an LGBTQ envoy. She added that Ms Zappone said there had been ‘radio silence’ from the minister about the position.

Another senior diplomatic source noted: ‘Of course the permanent Government doesn’t want her. A special envoy doesn’t replace politicians. They replace mandarins and senior civil servants.’Katherine Zappone wearing a blue shirt: Evidence is emerging that mandarins in Minister Simon Coveney’s Department of Foreign Affairs were somewhat less enthusiastic about the appointment than Ms Zappone herself was. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos© Provided by Extra.ie Evidence is emerging that mandarins in Minister Simon Coveney’s Department of Foreign Affairs were somewhat less enthusiastic about the appointment than Ms Zappone herself was. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

They added: ‘Noses are put out of joint. Lots of treats are suddenly in jeopardy. Trips are missed. Don’t be under any illusion. For every single trip the minister makes, the senior officials make five. They follow the fine weather dining for Ireland.’

The latest revelations will increase Government rancour over the Zappone crisis. As pressure grows on Ms Zappone to provide a full account of her tangled relations with a series of ministers, one source noted: ‘She is almost like the Cabinet albatross. She is like a bad-luck charm.’

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