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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Taoiseach must stamp his authority and end Zappone row, says Fianna Fáil TD

Kildare TD and member of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs James Lawless has stated that Taoiseach Micheál Martin must put an end to the Zappone row and “stamp his authority” on the Cabinet.

“I think the Taoiseach does need to stamp his authority on this.”

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The Fianna Fáil TD described the controversy as a “Fine Gael mess” while adding that he acknowledges it as an issue for the entire government.

“It’s really unedifying and the Taoiseach needs to nip it in the bud right now.”

Lawless stated that he will be asking Coveney about his admission that he had deleted text messages to which he explained was due to his phone being hacked.

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Lawless is one of the latest Fianna Fáil TDs to express concern over the party’s handling of the controversy.

Former minister Barry Cowen suggested that preferential treatment is being given to Fine Gael Cabinet ministers, which he said is causing frustration.

The government, whose attitudes towards freedom of information and cyber security has raised concern as a result of the affair, remains under pressure over the controversy surrounding Zappone’s abandoned appointment as UN special envoy on freedom of expression, as well as the fallout over an event at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin.

Zappone had stepped back from the position as UN special envoy on freedom of expression following outrage around the manner of her appointment to the role.

The Taoiseach has stated that “comprehensive” information will be released soon, which is expected to clear up any remaining questions.

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