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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar apologises over text message controversy

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has issued an apology over the controversy regarding text messages between himself and former Minister for Children Katherine Zappone.

Controversy arose after the Tánaiste failed to disclose the texts upon request by journalists under the Freedom of Information (FOI) law.

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Initially, the Department of the Tánaiste denied that there was any exchange of messages between Varadkar and Zappone while responding to an FOI request last month.

The text messages were in relation to the controversial Merrion Hotel event in July.

Irish Times journalist Jack Power revealed on social media that the department found no existing records of the messages following discussions with staff in the Tánaiste’s office.

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The department stated that the records could either not be found or didn’t exist.

However, Varadkar revealed the text messages on Wednesday between himself, Zappone and Simon Coveney.

Varadkar issued an apology this morning, saying that he was on annual leave at the time of the FOI inquest and that no one had contacted him to check his phone records.

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