Republic of Ireland news

Taoiseach rules out investigation into Cabinet leak over Katherine Zappone

The Republic's former minister for children and youth affairs Katherine Zappone
Cate McCurry, PA

The Taoiseach has ruled out an investigation into who leaked the appointment of Katherine Zappone from Cabinet.

Micheál Martin said that Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy had “no evidence whatsoever” when he accused Simon Harris of leaking the information about the proposed appointment.

Mr Carthy used Dáil privilege when he named the Higher Education Minister on Wednesday.

Asked if he wanted an investigation into who was behind the leak, Mr Martin said: “No, let’s get real here, Matt Carthy had no evidence whatsoever. He admits he had no evidence.

“He threw it out there. Sinn Féin are into that politics, they have a track record in terms of failure to respect the House and the convention of the House and the privilege and they have abused privilege in the past in the Dail.

“The government is focused on the substantial issues that are before us. Yesterday we had a long meeting on the National Development Plan and on the economy and the lead up to the Budget.

“The Budget is only a short few weeks away and that will be important, as is the publication of the National Development Plan, which will outline a multi-billion investment in this country, right across the board, in order to underpin our development as a modern economy and society.”

Mr Martin said there has been leaks and briefings to the media in recent years, saying that was “part and parcel”.

“In terms of Cabinet confidentiality, it is important that what is said at the Cabinet table is kept within the Cabinet table, of course,” he added.

“But I will concentrate all of my energies and our energies as a government on dealing with the bread-and-butter issues that face the people.”

Mr Harris has denied leaking the information from Cabinet and said he is “very seriously” considering making a complaint against Mr Carthy.

The appointment of the former children’s minister to the UN role triggered a major political controversy and led to a vote of confidence in Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney for his handling of the affair.

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