Paschal Donohoe has been among the most surefooted of political operators over the past two decades. 

That is why it is so surprising that he has allowed, what appeared at first to be an oversight, to escalate into career-defining crisis.

In addition to the donation by businessman Michael Stone to his Dublin Central constituency during General Election 2016, it has now emerged there is an issue in relation to 2020 as well.

This is something which Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty had been demanding answers to over recent days. 

Paschal Donohoe didn't respond in the Dáil when asked if he had received a donation from Mr Stone in 2020.

On Prime Time on Thursday evening, Minister of State Peter Burke was asked if there was an issue in relation to General Election 2020.

Minister Burke responded "It's a very simple answer. He wasn't aware of it at the time and if you think of Paschal Donohoe, he was Director of Elections nationally for Fine Gael at the last election, 39 constituencies trying to be over that as well. He's a very busy individual."

His spokesperson says the minister will be making a further statement to "address issues raised". The 2016 donation of a commercial van and six paid workers over four nights valued by Fine Gael at €1,057 should have been in declared to the Standards in Public Office Commission.

It seems the issue in relation to 2020 is not as significant.

The next opportunity Mr Donohoe will have to address the Dáil on the issue will be on Tuesday afternoon, which means the controversy will run into a second week.

Although he may speak publicly before then.

His coalition partners have stood by him. However, they are now caught in a bind as they are continuing to defend him while, at the same time, they don't know exactly what he will say in the coming days.

Even among Paschal Donohoe's supporters there is disappointment that he has failed to shut down the controversy this week.

But there may well be a good explanation. 

He had made an initial statement to the media on Sunday afternoon. That was followed by a further address to the Dáil on Wednesday partly to make himself accountable to the Oireachtas.

On Thursday he surprised many by saying he would make another statement - but not just yet. 

The opposition demanded that the minister come before the Dáil immediately. 

But if he did not have the full facts at his fingertips and made any mistake on Thursday, he would then face the prospect of correcting the record of the House, which would be politically suicidal in the context of an unfolding political crisis.

Instead, he has decided he will address the Dáil next week.

Nationally and internationally, Paschal Donohoe is a valuable asset for Fine Gael.

So far, the opposition have not called for him to resign and no party has tabled a no-confidence motion in the minister. 

In reality, many TDs know that they could easily fall foul of the election donation declaration system which is badly in need of reform.

Many of the finer details of these expenses and donations are handled by their election agents in the heat of a demanding political contest.

It also has to be pointed out that the amount of money involved in the Paschal Donohoe controversy is not enormous. 

Many TDs understand this was an oversight made by a usually cautious and prudent politician.

Among his colleagues, there is an acknowledgement that the drip feed nature of what is happening is corrosive.

But they say he is safe.

For now.