“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,” he said.
“I realise fully the unnecessary stress, risk and offence 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,” he said.
Mr Hogan on Friday issued an apology, but last night Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar asked the EU Commissioner to consider his position.
Last night, a Government spokesperson said: “They [Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar] both believe the event should never have been held, that the Commissioner’s apology came late and that he still needs to give a full account and explanation of his actions.”
Gardaí have launched an investigation into the event, which appeared to breach Covid-19 restrictions.