Ivana Bacik has issued a statement apologising for her attendance at a hotel event organised by Katherine Zappone in July.

In a statement issued today, the recently elected Labour TD said: "I confirmed last week that I was briefly in attendance for approximately 15/20 minutes at an outdoor event organised by Katherine Zappone on 21st July."

"I understood the event was within the regulations but regret my brief attendance in the circumstances, and apologise for being there. [Labour Party leader] Alan Kelly has accepted my apology."

Former minister for children Katherine Zappone had organised the outdoor gathering of 50 friends and former colleagues, including Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, at the Merrion Hotel six days prior to her appointment as UN special envoy.

Ms Zappone later turned down the UN role after there had been calls for clarity over the appointment process, with Opposition TDs describing the appointment as "cronyism" and lacking any real transparency.

The Government was also accused of throwing public health guidelines "out the window" and changing Covid guidelines to "retrospectively approve the attendance of the Tánaiste at an event".

The claim was made by Sinn Féin's Matt Carthy after the Government issued a statement saying that the Covid regulations "provide for organised outdoor events and gatherings of up to 200 people".

Last Friday, the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he regretted attending the event but said it was not in breach of Government regulations, and "probably" not in breach of Fáilte Ireland guidelines.