Former Minister Katherine Zappone was told about her appointment as UN Special Envoy four months before it was discussed at Cabinet.
On March 4th, Zappone texted Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: “Hi Simon, thank you so, so much for offering me this incredible opportunity. It will be such a privilege and I will be so proud to serve Ireland again. I think the time is really ripe for change too.”
“Could you let me know time period appointment is for, and what are next steps,” she added.
“As you know I am working with UNFPA till mid or end of June. Thank you again so much Simon – especially when you have so much on your plate. I spoke with paschal too yesterday. Warmest, Katherine.”
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said that Zappone had approached him late last year regarding a “future in the UN”, adding that he suggested she make contact with Simon Coveney over the query.
Coveney had previously told the Oireachtas that he had only communicated Zappone’s availability to his Department. However, the UN office didn’t start putting together a brief for it until mid-June – three months after Zappone had already thanked Coveney for the role.
Katherine Zappone has since confirmed that she will not accept the role.