Simon Coveney insists he was not lobbied by Katherine Zappone for a government-appointed job at the United Nations.
The Foreign Affairs Minister will appear before an Oireachtas Committee later to take questions, following his efforts to put Ms Zappone’s name forward for the position of Special Envoy for freedom of opinion and expression.
Mr Coveney will tell the committee Katherine Zappone reached out to him last summer and offered to help "in any way she could" at the UN.
The pair spoke again in February, and Simon Coveney then asked his Secretary General whether Zappone "could be of any use" to the Irish team in New York.
Ms Zappone ultimately turned down the role, amid political backlash to the appointment and the controversy over a gathering she organised for friends and former colleagues at Dublin’s Merrion Hotel.
In his opening statement, Minister Coveney will tell committee members Ms Zappone reached out to him last summer and said “she would be available to help in any way she could in our work at the UN”.
It came after she left Irish politics last year following the loss of her Dáil seat.
She has since returned to live full-time in New York.
Minister Coveney says they have spoken “now and again, as former colleagues do” since then.
His opening statement says: “In February of this year we spoke and Katherine Zappone told me of work she was doing in the UN system.
"At no point in that conversation did I consider that she was lobbying me for a job.
“Following on from that conversation, however, I reflected on the fact that Katherine Zappone was a former Irish minister, had been heavily involved in our Security Council campaign, had campaigned all her life on issues of equality and was no living in New York.”
He says he brought up the topic of whether Ms Zappone “could be of any use to our team in New York” during a meeting with his Secretary General in late February.
He says the Department recommended a role “with a broad mandate, focusing on freedom of expression”.
Minister Coveney then approached his former cabinet colleague and asked if she’d be interested in the role.
The minister says he made the decision to ask Ms Zappone about the special envoy role, on the basis of his Department’s view “that there was a substantive body of work to do to advance Ireland’s priorities in the area of freedom of opinion and expression.”