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Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 15 September 2021

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Ceisteanna (352)

Réada Cronin

Ceist:

352. Deputy Réada Cronin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the informal and formal communications between his senior officials and those of the Department of An Taoiseach in a matter (details supplied) at all stages; if he will publish those communications and contacts and their dates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43335/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

My Department recognised the public interest in the matter raised, namely the appointment of a Special Envoy on Freedom of Opinion and Expression. For this reason, it was decided to publish records related to the matter on our website, in a transparent and comprehensive manner, within all the applicable deadlines under the FOI Act. Each individual person who had lodged an FOI request was notified of our decision, which is fully in accordance with section 15 (1) (f) of the FOI Act.

The entire set of records relating to the matter from January 2020 to 6 August 2021 have been catalogued and published on our website at:

www.dfa.ie/about-us/accountability/how-we-are-accountable/foi-requests/.

As regards the particular records within the set that are of interest to the Deputy, I would refer her to records 60_77, 65_73, 66_74 and 115_100.  Record 66_74 was listed on the schedule of records identified but was not published on the grounds that its disclosure was exempt under section 28(1)(a) of the Freedom of information Act 2014. It is a Memorandum to Government in relation to Ambassadorial & Special Envoy appointments.  There are no records of communications between officials of my Department and the Department of An Taoiseach after 6 August in relation to the matter raised.  

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