Zappone controversy and its handling has sent tremors through Fine Gael

Insiders fear what the controversy says about the party after 10 years in power, and where it is going

Former minister Katherine Zappone and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. ‘He didn’t take this seriously enough,’ said a party source. ‘He was offhand, he was dismissive…’

Former minister Katherine Zappone and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. ‘He didn’t take this seriously enough,’ said a party source. ‘He was offhand, he was dismissive…’

Political Reporter One Fine Gael figure, who was sent out to bat in the media for Simon Coveney in recent weeks, considered offering to play a game of bingo against the Sinn Féin representative sent out on the same show.

In it a list of key phrases would be crossed off as they were uttered: “cronyism”; “jobs for the boys”; “ready-up”; “insiders”; “made-up job”. When the card was completed the plan was to hold it up, and declare “BINGO”. Not surprisingly it did not go ahead.

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