‘Diplomatic Sherpa’ of Brexit negotiations promoted to most powerful role in civil service

John Callinan appointed as secretary general to the government and secretary general of the Department of the Taoiseach

John Callinan, right, pictured in 2008. Picture: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

The man who was the government’s “diplomatic Sherpa” during the Brexit negotiations has been appointed to the most powerful role in the civil service.

John Callinan, the second-secretary general in the Department of the Taoiseach, was a key figure in the Brexit negotiations. He was the main civil servant who sat in on the meetings with EU leaders held by three different Taoisigh – Enda Kenny, Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin. He was also ...