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Minister orders investigation into department lockdown gathering

The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister has ordered an investigation into a gathering of his officials in June 2020.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney (Brian Lawless/PA)

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney (Brian Lawless/PA)

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister has ordered an investigation into a gathering of his officials in June 2020.

The news follows weeks of controversy over the gathering of Department of Foreign Affairs staff, held in the aftermath of Ireland winning a seat on the UN Security Council.

Simon Coveney has denied attending the bash at Iveagh House, which was held while strict lockdown measures were still in place.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed to the PA news agency that Mr Coveney had requested a report into the matter.

Mr Coveney has faced repeated questions about the controversy, which was ignited after his secretary general tweeted a photo of the event.

The photo showed around 20 officials at the department drinking Moet & Chandon champagne, not wearing masks or adhering to social distancing measures.

It is expected that the report will be completed by the end of the month.

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Earlier this week, Mr Coveney said he would be happy to answer questions on the matter at the Oireachtas committee on foreign affairs if requested.


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