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Alex Kane

The gulf between Coveney and unionists: how it grew and why it's unlikely to change

Alex Kane


Alex Kane charts the distintegration of a once-promising relationship

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Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney

Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney

Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney

In a piece for the Belfast Telegraph on May 5, 2018, I noted: "The DUP also needs to abandon its present fixation with what Arlene Foster describes as a troublesome Irish government. Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney aren't responsible for the present crisis. Their recent input into our local politics has been caused by two outcomes, neither of which they provoked: the failure of the DUP and SF to cut a deal (to restore the Executive) and the UK's decision to leave the EU. Both of those issues have a direct impact on the Irish government, so it would be quite remarkable if they didn't raise their concerns."

Simon Coveney has been Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs since June 2017. He was appointed by Varadkar and kept in place when Micheal Martin became Taoiseach last year. In Irish politics he is held in fairly high regard and generally viewed as a safe pair of hands - "the sort of guy," as one Fine Gael TD put it to me in the summer of 2017, "who was reckoned to have the temperament required to deal with unionists right now."


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