Simon Coveney’s track record of service to Ireland and representing our interests abroad speaks for itself, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Speaking today, Senator Barry Ward said, “In recent weeks, there have been attempts by certain individuals to tarnish Minister Coveney’s good name and reputation. Aside from being a decent, hardworking, and compassionate person, a cursory examination of his record shows what he has achieved for Ireland.
“We can all recall Minister Coveney’s response to the enormous challenges posed by Brexit, an area to which he was assigned special responsibility. His calm display of conviction in a crisis and strength in the face of uncertainty was vital in avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“Minister Coveney was instrumental in reinstating the Northern Ireland institutions after two-and-a-half years of political deadlock that followed the collapse of Stormont in 2017. His statesmanship and skill as a negotiator have earned him the utmost respect from political leaders and civil servants across Belfast, Westminster, and Brussels.
“In response to the horrific scenes we recently witnessed in the wake of the Taliban’s occupation of Afghanistan, Minister Coveney used the working relationship he had developed with his French counterpart to enlist the assistance of France in having Irish citizens in Afghanistan flown home.
“In 2013, as Minister for Agriculture, he exposed the horse meat scandal, and quickly and decisively responded to it in a way that safeguarded Ireland’s agricultural interests.
“We have all seen what Minister Coveney can achieve. Across the various Government departments he has led, he has delivered results and delivered positive impacts for this country. Suggestions that a mistake or error of judgement can undo this track record are nonsensical, but they do reflect our current political climate.
“The irony is that these criticisms come as Minister Coveney presides over the UN Security Council in New York, dealing with matters of extreme international importance that will have enormous implications for the entire world. This is also an historic moment for Ireland, as it is the first time we have had a resolution passed by the Security Council in over forty years.
“Short-sighted, ad hominem attacks do not stand, especially when compared to Simon Coveney’s exceptional record of public service,” concluded Senator Ward.