Sunday 11 December 2016

Zappone admits 'some tensions' over the appointment of press secretary

Published 22/07/2016 | 02:30

Katherine Zappone TD Picture: Tom Burke
Katherine Zappone TD Picture: Tom Burke

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone is admitting there are "some tensions" over the appointment of a new deputy Government press secretary.

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The Irish Independent revealed how Shane Ross's Independent Alliance was locked in a dispute with Ms Zappone (below) and Communications Minister Denis Naughten over choosing an appointment to the €90,000 job.

The prestigious job has traditionally involved acting as a spokesperson for the junior party in a coalition. However, the inclusion of Independents in the Cabinet has resulted in a new dynamic, and sources have said it would be "impossible" for one person to fairly represent the Alliance and ministers Ms Zappone and Mr Naughten.

Speaking yesterday at the launch of Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) annual report, Ms Zappone conceded there were problems, but hoped the issue could be resolved. "We have been working towards that appointment," she said.

"There have been some tensions in that regard, but I'm absolutely very hopeful and convinced that we'll move forward."

The Taoiseach's office signed off on funding for the position more than two months ago, but it is understood the process "is going nowhere".

Irish Independent

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