Katherine Zappone refuses to answer questions as she’s pictured in New York for first time since UN job scandal
Katherine Zappone has not been seen in public, but the Irish Mirror tracked her down and confronted her over the weekend
Katherine Zappone was walking the streets alone in New York while Micheal Martin was delivering a keynote speech at the UN just 20 minutes away.
Ms Zappone has been engulfed in a number of political controversies this summer.
Her cancelled appointment to a UN Special Envoy led to a vote of no confidence in Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney, which he survived.
Ms Zappone has not been seen in public, but the Irish Mirror tracked her down and confronted her over the weekend.
The ex-Minister for Children left her plush apartment in Manhattan shortly before 11am last Friday while the UN General Assembly was in full swing down on First Avenue.
She was dressed down compared to the way she used to dress when she was a minister, wearing a pair of blue jeans, runners, a white blouse and light grey jacket.
She topped this off with a pearl necklace and a pair of her favourite earrings that she has been pictured often wearing in the past.
The Irish Mirror team approached Ms Zappone and asked her if she would like to speak to us but she refused.
The ex-politician lives on the swanky Upper West Side in New York city, just a few blocks from Columbia University, a member of the Ivy League of top US colleges.
She regularly visits the Ellington bar and restaurant just off Duke Ellington Boulevard.
One of the bar staff, Kate, told the Irish Mirror that Ms Zappone is a frequent visitor.
She said: “You’d see her sitting there in that corner, sipping a glass of wine.”
The doorman of the 14-storey apartment block where she lives, Eddie, also chatted to the Irish Mirror on Sunday afternoon.
Eddie didn’t know anything about her life in politics in Ireland.
He said: “She’s a nice woman, I didn’t know she was a politician.”
Meanwhile, the Taoiseach, Mr Martin, was delivering Ireland’s national message at the UN’s headquarters on First Avenue and 42nd Street.
This is only about two miles away from Ms Zappone’s home on 106th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Mr Martin did not meet Ms Zappone last week, despite being just minutes away from her home and being in New York for six days.
Nor did Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, who survived a motion of no confidence in him tabled by Sinn Fein after his role in the special envoy scandal emerged.
He said he was too busy during his shorter stay of three days in New York last week.
Tanaiste and leader of Fine Gael, Leo Varadkar is in Washington this week , which is only a short hop from New York by plane or train.
A spokeswoman did not respond to a query from the Irish Mirror asking if he planned to meet his former ministerial colleague.
Minister for Sport, Catherine Martin, was at the Ryder Cup in Wisconsin for the weekend and was in New York visiting the Irish Arts Centre yesterday.
A spokesman said she would not be meeting Ms Zappone either.
Ms Zappone played a key role in securing a prestigious seat on the UN Security Council last year and in her proposed role as special envoy to the UN she would’ve expected to be rubbing shoulders with leading Irish and UN diplomats all this month.
Instead, Ms Zappone was walking on her own on the streets of New York while the great and the good of Irish America were swanning around the UN last week.
She has maintained a stony silence since details of plans to appoint her to an unadvertised UN post were made public.
It emerged that Ms Zappone had been in touch with Mr Coveney as early as last March arranging the new gig.