Well done, Stone Face, Gifts, can be Dodgy at times?

Posted by
See the source image

CO GENEROUS | 

Simon Coveney hands out over €2k of gifts including cufflinks, bog oak pens and whiskey

The department said a record of gifts received by Mr Coveney was not maintained because only items worth more than €650 need to be recorded.

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney speaking to the media at Iveagh House, the Department of Foreign Affairs, in Dublin. Picture date: Wednesday September 28, 2022.
Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney speaking to the media at Iveagh House, the Department of Foreign Affairs, in Dublin. Picture date: Wednesday September 28, 2022. — © PA

Ken FoxeSunday Independent

16th October 2022 18:30

Bog oak pens, silver cufflinks and a €310 bottle of Midleton whiskey were among the gifts given by Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney over the past two years.

He handed out a total of €2,150 worth of presents to visiting dignitaries, foreign ministers and heads of state during official visits to Ireland and on his travels abroad. The department said a record of gifts received by Mr Coveney was not maintained because only items worth more than €650 need to be recorded.

A list of items explains how bog oak pens from Donegal Pens were by far the most popular present from the department. The individual pens, costing €33.50 each, were gifted to 30 different visitors, including the president of Somalia, and the high commissioner of the Kingdom of Tonga.

Small teardrop bowls from the ceramic artist Michele Hannan were also a popular choice, with the €65 items presented on nine separate occasions.

Others got more personalised gifts, including the Belarusian politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who was given an engraved vase from Jerpoint Glass worth €55.

The most expensive item gifted by Mr Coveney was a bottle of Midleton Dair Ghaelach whiskey from the Midleton Distillery in Co Cork. The bottle, which cost €310 from the Celtic Whiskey Shop, was presented to the Japanese foreign affairs minister.

A note from the department said: “It is standard international practice to exchange modest gifts between ministers and visiting dignitaries during ministerial and other high level visits. On occasion, as per international custom the minister may also present a gift in order to reciprocate one received via a counterpart or host.”

The department said gifts were either sourced in Ireland or were of Irish interest and were bought at the most “economically advantageous cost.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s