Ceann Comhairle John O'Donoghue has apologised for the high level of expenses he incurred as Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Mr O'Donoghue said he sincerely regretted not paying more attention to the cost of the arrangements provided for him.

Read the full statement

He said he was fully focused on his duties as an office holder at the time and would not be concerned with this level of detail.

'I was not aware of the cost of these arrangements. When I read the detail in the past weeks, I was embarrassed that such costs were associated with some of the arrangements made on my behalf.

'I sincerely regret that, although on official duty, such considerable costs were incurred. I apologise for this.

'I can fully understand how many people were shocked to read some of the detail. I apologise to these people, in particular, for the disquiet this controversy has caused.'

The apology comes two days after he wrote to every member of the Dáil .

However, the Opposition had insisted that he apologise to the public.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said he had called for a full apology from the Ceann Comhairle and that this statement was a full apology that he accepted.