The Zappone/Coveney controversy


Sir, – Can I suggest, so as to reduce future time-wasting in journalism, that our politicians start communicating by Snapchat? – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.

Sir, – Your timeline of Katherine Zappone’s communications makes for hilarious reading. In contrast, Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People) seems like an amateur. How could a nice guy from Carrigaline like Simon Coveney be up to her? Better luck next time, Katherine! – Yours, etc,




Co Donegal.

Sir, – I am grateful to you for the detailed steps we need to take to get a nice job in the UN. While the issue has become tiresome at times, we must be grateful to the journalists who tracked, researched, and exposed this unseemly and embarrassing matter. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 3.

Sir, – While the media may get great mileage out of parsing text messages line by line, it is tiresome and it is time to stop. Please allow Ireland to maximise its membership of the UN Security Council, particularly this month during its presidency of the council.

There are much more important international matters to address. It is time to think global. – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.

Sir, – A bit of perspective is required. More money is being spent investigating how Katherine Zappone came to be offered a position (that she was well qualified for) than she would actually have earned had she been appointed.

This is another example of media hype creating a “story” where there is none. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.

Sir, – Against the background of the several existential and human rights crises facing the globe, the one question not being asked by the frenzied media in their pursuit of this local political spat is cui bono, who stands to gain from the unseemly row? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.

Sir, – Simon Coveney is in luck. Although he deleted his texts to Leo Varadkar, they can be retrieved.

Deleting WhatsApp messages removes them from the app, but they remain on the phone as they are not overwritten in the database management system (SQLite).

Mr Coveney can arrange for the messages to be accessed and published – to remove any lingering suspicions as to their content. – Yours, etc,


Gaoth Dobhair,

Co Dhún na nGall.

Sir, – Why do standards in public life matter so little?

The Taoiseach’s comments on the Zappone/Coveney controversy earlier this week, that it’s melodrama given that the position was only part-time, are surely mere detail.

The principle of how the job was sought, manufactured and then rubber-stamped by Government is at the heart of the matter.

Both the Tánaiste and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence have displayed a breathtaking arrogance and contempt for their own Government.

When transparency and appropriate procedures on public appointments have been so flagrantly abandoned, it is obvious that incumbents have become too comfortable in their roles. They have forgotten that it is a privilege to serve in Government and when doing so should, and will be, held to the highest standards.

To restore faith in politics and re-establish this notion, it is the Taoiseach’s duty to ensure that these standards are met by members of his Government. Failure to do so only results in undermining his own authority. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 4.

Sir, – I look forward to the day when all appointments to positions funded by the taxpayer will be open, transparent and fair. On the same date, I imagine that pigs will soar high in the sky. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – In some countries, a coordinated campaign between government and the diplomatic service that secured a strategic position in the United Nations for a highly qualified candidate would be considered an achievement to be welcomed by the media and grudgingly acknowledged by the Opposition.

Not here, apparently. – Yours, etc,


Mount Merrion,

Co Dublin.