EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan has again apologised for breaching COVID-19 restrictions at a golf dinner this week.
It comes after the Taoiseach Micheál Martin asked him to consider his position yesterday.
The Dáil is also to be recalled early as the Government reels from the scandal.
There were over 80 people at the Oireachtas Golf Society Dinner in County Galway last week, including a Government Minister, a Supreme Court Judge, a TD, a range of Senators and range of officials.
"Fulsome and profound"
In a statement this morning, Commissioner Hogan offered a “fulsome and profound apology” for attending the dinner – but made no mention of standing down from his position.
“I wish to apologise fully and unreservedly for attending the Oireachtas golf society dinner on Wednesday night last,” he said.
“I want, in particular, to apologise to the wonderful healthcare workers, who continue to put their lives on the line to combat COVID-19 and all people who have lost loved ones during this pandemic.
“I acknowledge my actions have touched a nerve for the people of Ireland, something for which I am profoundly sorry.”
"Stress, risk and offence"
He said he understands the “unnecessary stress, risk and offense caused to the people of Ireland” and said he was extremely sorry.
“I acknowledge that the issue is far bigger than compliance with rules and regulations and adherence to legalities and procedures,” he said.
“All of us must display solidarity as we try to stamp out this common plague.
“I thus offer this fulsome and profound apology, at this difficult time for all people, as the world as a whole combats COVID-19.
The commissioner said he spoke to the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar yesterday and “listened carefully to their views, which I respect.”
He said he has been keeping the European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen updated on the situation in recent days.
The three Fianna Fáil senators and three Fine Gael senators who attended have lost their party whip.
Supreme Court Justice Séamus Woulfe has apologised for attending as has independent TD Noel Grealish.