I wish to apologise fully and unreservedly for attending the Oireachtas golf society dinner on Wednesday night last. I want, in particular, to apologise to the wonderful healthcare workers, who continue to put their lives on the line to combat Covid 19 and all people who have lost loved ones during this pandemic. I acknowledge my actions have touched a nerve for the people of Ireland, something for which I am profoundly sorry.
I realise fully the unnecessary stress, risk and offense caused to the people of Ireland by my attendance at such an event, at such a difficult time for all, and I am extremely sorry for this.
I acknowledge that the issue is far bigger than compliance with rules and regulations and adherence to legalities and procedures. All of us must display solidarity as we try to stamp out this common plague.
I thus offer this fulsome and profound apology, at this difficult time for all people, as the world as a whole combats Covid 19.
I spoke to both the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste yesterday and I have listened carefully to their views, which I respect. I have been reporting to the President of the European Commission on all these matters in recent days.