The Taoiseach has said he welcomes the prospective release of Government documents relating to the appointment of Katherine Zappone as a special envoy.

Micheál Martin said the information should be "transparent and comprehensive".

He added that the overall context for this information was that it relates to the appointment of a "part-time international envoy".

On Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs is expected to publish all of its documentation relating to the appointment process.

This comes ahead of the return of Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney to an Oireachtas committee next Tuesday to clarify his previous evidence on the controversy.

Sinn Féin is calling for full disclosure of all information and it has said Mr Coveney has many questions to answer.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady, wants "all communications records" relating to the Katherine Zappone affair to be made available to the members of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence (JCFAD) immediately.

The Wicklow TD said that this was necessary to allow members review the communications in advance of Mr Coveney's appearance.


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Last Wednesday, the Minister for Foreign Affairs said the reason he deleted text messages with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar regarding a meeting with Ms Zappone was because his phone has been hacked in the past.

Mr Varadkar later released the text message communication he had with both Simon Coveney and Katherine Zappone about the role of special envoy for freedom of opinion and expression.

Earlier today, Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy described Ms Zappone's appointment as "an act of cronyism".

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, he said that the Taoiseach needs to take leadership on the issue and "sit Simon Coveney down" and tell him he needs to come before the Oireachtas committee with all the necessary documentation ready.

He said that 'huge questions' still need to be answered in relation to the deletion of text messages.

Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, said that there is "no intention to try to hide anything" in relation to text messages on Mr Coveney's phone.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, she said: "He has made himself available to the Committee for the second time on Tuesday and directed his Department to make sure that all of the available information is published prior to that ... there is no intention to try to hide anything here."

But she said the appointment had been handled "exceptionally badly" and it was important that apologies had been forthcoming over that.

Meanwhile, Labour Party TD Brendan Howlin has said it is not within the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act to delete information about Government business from mobile phones at regular intervals.

He said that if a person is doing public business on a mobile phone there is "an obligation that this is recorded in the event of an FOI request" and there is also an obligation on the person not to delete it.

Mr Howlin said he is concerned that "there seems to be an acceptance now that you can do public business on a non-official medium and somehow delete that" - leaving no historical record or access to it under FOI.

In relation to the appoinment of Ms Zappone to the envoy role, he said that it was a "significant enough decision" and should have been cleared in advance "by all parties".