Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney may be called before an Oireachtas cross-party committee to answer questions over the June 2020 gathering at his department amid growing political concerns over the issue.

A majority of the 14-member Oireachtas Committee on foreign affairs said they are in favour of requesting a meeting with Minister Coveney when the committee meets privately tomorrow and said the existing department inquiry does not go far enough.

Yesterday, a department spokesperson confirmed an investigation has been launched into the gathering in June 2020, which took place in the aftermath of Ireland's successful bid for a United Nations Security Council seat.

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The investigation - which will be undertaken by the Department's new Secretary General Joe Hackett - will conclude by the end of January.

The investigation's existence was not mentioned by Minister Coveney during a lengthy interview on RTÉ's News At One on Friday, leading to further opposition party questions over the issue.

Speaking on the same programme this afternoon, eight of the 14 TDs and senators on the committee said they now believe Minister Coveney should attend a meeting to answer questions over the controversy.

The eight TDs and senators in favour of requesting a meeting with Minister Coveney are: Sinn Féin TDs John Brady, Sorca Clarke and party senator Niall O Donnghaile; Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon, Independent TD Cathal Berry, Green Party TD Brian Leddin,Independent Senator Ger Craughwell and Fianna Fáil senator Catherine Ardagh.

Sinn Féin said it is seeking an immediate meeting with Minister Coveney, with Mr Brady saying: "This has clearly become another major distraction, and it's very reminiscent of the Katherine Zappone scandal and Minister Coveney's own involvement and handling of that particular issue.

"So the committee meets on Tuesday afternoon and Sinn Féin will be asking that the minister comes before the committee as soon as possible to give a full account of the events and his handling of them."

Senator Ardagh said she would like a meeting once the Department investigation concludes; Deputy Berry said ambassadors who attended the gathering should also appear; and Deputy Leddin said he "won't oppose" any plans for a meeting.

The six remaining committee members are: Fianna Fáil TDs Barry Cowen and James Lawless;Fine Gael TDs David Stanton and Charlie Flanagan, who chairs the committee, Fine Gael senator Joe O Reilly and Fianna Fáil Senator Diarmuid Wilson.

Mr Cowen said he will "see what members say tomorrow and take my lead from them" and Mr Flanagan said as committee chair he is "listening to members".

Mr Lawless said: "The gathering in the Department of Foreign Affairs offices was wrong, it was careless, it was foolish. However, I don't believe it's comparable with what we've seen in Downing Street, and Boris Johnson and his ilk.

"In Boris Johnson's case they were sending out invitations to boozy parties featuring not just politicians but political advisors.

"I don't think the Department of Foreign Affairs had the same attitude or approach at all, I think it was a momentary lapse of judgement and these were civil servants, not political, celebrating a goal for the green jersey.

"And in that context, something that happened over the course of a few minutes was unwise but I don't think they should be hung, drawn and quartered over it."

The Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs will meet in private at midday tomorrow to discuss its schedule for the coming Dáil term.