Simon Coveney: Foreign Affairs role has me under constituency pressure

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has admitted his role in Foreign Affairs has put him under pressure in his own constituency.

Mr Coveney is today attending the fourth All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit in Dundalk along with the Taoiseach and the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, the Cork South Central TD acknowledged his role in Government means he has less time for his constituency but said he “works a lot of weekends” to counteract his busy national and international schedule.

Many in the constituency noted Mr Coveney’s absence, with one local representative saying: “He took on Brexit, he took on Northern Ireland — he might be on the telly but he is not in the constituency.”

Mr Coveney said: “Being Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and deputy leader of the party means I have a lot of responsibilities outside of Cork. But I think Cork people see that, they do have a big interest in Brexit. The outcome of Brexit is important to people in my constituency, as it is for people all over the country and I think people have an interest in Northern Ireland too.”