Tanaiste Leo Varadkar‘s claim that the Taoiseach received a memo naming Katherine Zappone as Ireland’s UN envoy appointment the day before a cabinet meeting, during which the former minister’s name was put forward has been utterly rejected as untrue by Fianna Fáil Minister Michael McGrath.
Micheal Martin had been left ‘blindsided‘ by the appointment it was reported, and said he was only told of it at the July 27th meeting, and not beforehand.
Leo Varadkar told RTE’s Morning Ireland today that a memo had been left on the Taoiseach’s desk naming Ms. Zappone on the day before the meeting.
The Tanaiste said: “The memo with the name of Katherine Zappone was in the Taoiseach’s office, the day before the Cabinet meeting”.
That has been rejected out of hand by Minister Michael McGrath of Fianna Fail, stressing that Zappone’s name was not in the memo.
He said: “In relation to the issue of the memo being with the Department of An Taoiseach before the Cabinet meeting, it is not the case that the name of the person proposed for appointment was in that memo.
“This was, in effect, an under the arm memo, which means it’s brought to Cabinet the morning of the Cabinet meeting itself.
“That is the first time that the name of Katherine Zappone was shared with the Taoiseach and with all of the other Cabinet colleagues.”
He continued: “This issue has been well ventilated over recent weeks.
“It has been a sorry affair, major mistakes were made and, from my perspective, coalition government can only work on the basis of trust and mutual respect.
“And that was absent in this case, and it can’t happen again.
“From a Fianna Fáil perspective in government, we expect the full details of any future appointments to be shared in advance so that they can be considered and openly discussed in a proper way.”