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Minister Simon Coveney on publication of documents in relation to the appointment of special envoy

“My Department has today brought forward the publication of all documentation on the appointment of a Special Envoy for Freedom of Opinion and Expression. The files show extensive consideration of the envoy position as well as a complete timeline ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence.

I am eager to go through all the documentation with the committee tomorrow morning and I will give a complete explanation of the timelines and decision-making process on bringing a recommendation to Government to establish this post. The significant detail set out in the files shows the extent of work that took place within different units of my Department.

I am sorry that this appointment has caused such controversy for the Government. I have apologised to the Taoiseach for the failings on my part in relation to this issue and I have no hesitation in doing so again.

Finally, a review of envoy positions is ongoing in the Department, however I agree with the Taoiseach’s call for all future appointments to be made by open public competition.”


Press Office

6 Sept 2021

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