Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD has called on the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar to answer questions in relation to the appointment of former Minister Zapppone to the position of Special Envoy for Freedom of Expression.
The Meath West TD said: “This appointment at the last cabinet meeting before the summer recess will have raised eyebrows throughout Ireland. That a former colleague of the Tánaiste, a Minister who lost her seat in the last general election is given a new job by that Minister just over a year after she left office, raises a number of serious questions. Remember this former Minister will have received a single payment of 75% of their salary on leaving office and phased payments for months after leaving office of 75% of their salary initially and then falling to 50% of salary”.
“Contrast this with the experience of front line student nurses who fought tooth and nail just to get paid for their work in the toughest days of the Covid crisis. Transparency is really important at this point”.
“I have sent questions to the Tánaiste seeking to find out the following; what was the recruitment process used to appoint former Minister Katherine Zappone to the position of special envoy for freedom of expression? Where was this position advertised? How many people applied for the job? Who carried out the interviews? Who made the final decision? What are the roles and responsibilities of special envoy for freedom of expression? Who fulfilled this role previously and to whom will the Special Envoy report to”.
The Aontú leader said that the position had not been advertised. “This smacks of Government of insiders, for insiders, by insiders. It is the opposite of a fair and open process for citizens. We are calling on the Tánaiste to answer these questions openly.”