Simon Coveney: Last year was scary

One year on from General Election 2020, TDs from Cork North and South Central reflect on the last 12 months with Sarah O'Dwyer
Simon Coveney: Last year was scary

Simon Coveney TD and Micheal Martin TD, in conversation at General Election 2020, Cork South Central and Cork North Central, Count Centre at Nemo Rangers Hurling and Football Club, Trabeg Sports Centre, South Douglas Road, Cork.

Covid-19 has also been the cause of some sleepless nights for the government, Minister for foreign affairs Simon Coveney has said.

Reflecting back on one year since the 2020 general election he said: “The major work in government has been the pandemic and trying to navigate it. It has been scary, there have been sleepless nights and Ireland has lost many wonderful people.

“More than anything I’m very proud of our community and our country and the determination it has shown in fighting Covid-19.” 

At the time, Mr Coveney labelled last year’s election “a bad day for Fine Gael”.

"We got some things wrong, clearly, and we didn’t connect with people in a way that we needed to,” he said. 

However, he retained his foreign affairs ministry and was part of the negotiating team that helped put the coalition together.

On reflection, he told The Echo: “The election of 12 months ago feels like it was a decade ago. The last year is one of the most extraordinary any of us will ever experience. For my part I led the government negotiating team for Fine Gael and helped put the coalition together.

“In Foreign Affairs I was reappointed Minister and there was the unfinished business of a Brexit trade deal and winning Ireland’s seat on the UN Security Council. 

"I was proud to also be appointed Minister for Defence. We have already increased allowances for the naval service and the commission to decide the future direction of the defence forces is up and running." 

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