“My Department has today brought forward the publication of all documentation on the appointment of a Special Envoy for Freedom of Opinion and Expression. The files show extensive consideration of the envoy position as well as a complete timeline ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence.
I am eager to go through all the documentation with the committee tomorrow morning and I will give a complete explanation of the timelines and decision-making process on bringing a recommendation to Government to establish this post. The significant detail set out in the files shows the extent of work that took place within different units of my Department.
I am sorry that this appointment has caused such controversy for the Government. I have apologised to the Taoiseach for the failings on my part in relation to this issue and I have no hesitation in doing so again.
Finally, a review of envoy positions is ongoing in the Department, however I agree with the Taoiseach’s call for all future appointments to be made by open public competition.”
The relevant documentation can be found on the dfa.ie website here and via the below links:
- Note on Material regarding UN Special Envoy on Freedom of Expression
- Final Schedule of records in chronological order
- Publication of records relating to FOI requests between 28th July and 6th August in connection with Appointment of Special Envoy July 2021
- Replies to FOI Requests between 28th July and 6th August in connection with Appointment of Special Envoy July 2021
6 Sept 2021