Ex-Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone, who was recently appointed to a taxpayer-funded diplomat job, previously asserted that the government should “reach out beyond political insiders” when doling out positions on boards.
Zappone, who was given the paid position of free speech ambassador to the UN after she specifically requested the role, has been embroiled in controversy, with numerous individuals in the media and opposition accusing the government of “cronyism” – a claim which the government has vehemently denied.
The appointment of Katherine Zappone as a Special Envoy on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, working with the UN, has been strongly criticised by the Opposition https://t.co/gIan6b96oW
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) July 28, 2021
However, back in 2015, when Zappone was a Senator, she had some remarks about “political insiders” being given State roles, insisting that “nod and wink” appointments had “no place” in a modern democracy.
The practice of appointments to State Boards made with a nod or wink has no place in open modern democracy & could damage economic recovery.
— Katherine Zappone (@k_zappone) January 22, 2015
“The practice of appointments made with a nod and wink to State boards has no place in our open modern democracy and could damage our economic recovery,” she said.
“We all are in agreement that it is time to end the parish pump system of appointments once and for all and to ensure that the agencies of the State have boards with experience, talent and skills to guide them in the delivery of services to the people.I congratulate the Minister, Deputy Howlin, on his commitment to and work towards this, some of which he outlined in his speech.”
Katherine Zappone in 2015: "The practice of appointments made with a nod and wink to State boards has no place in our open modern democracy and could damage our economic recovery."#gript #zappone pic.twitter.com/atfLBdR2Vm
— gript (@griptmedia) July 30, 2021
Speaking on the appointment, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told RTÉ: “She was our special envoy to the UN in the last government…She said she’s available. She offered to do the work,” adding that he believed she was the most qualified person for the job.
As covered previously by Gript, while Zappone’s new role is supposedly “freedom of opinion and free expression” czar, she has repeatedly supported pro-censorship policies, both legally and on social media in the past.
The Irish government has appointed Katherine Zappone to a new taxpayer-funded role as free speech ambassador to the UN – despite the fact that she supports social media censorship and has backed so-called “hate speech” laws. @Ben_Scallan reacts.#gripthttps://t.co/NLD9MOn38H
— gript (@griptmedia) July 28, 2021