It has been confirmed that EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan was stopped by gardaí for using his mobile phone while driving in Kildare last week.
He has admitted he briefly stopped in the county, which is under lockdown, to pick up some work papers on his way to the Oireachtas Golf Society event in Clifden.
The latest revelations come after the Taoiseach and Tánaiste over the weekend called for Mr Hogan to consider his position.
Yesterday the European Commissioner offered a "fulsome and profound apology" for attending the dinner, but he stopped short of resigning.
In a subsequent statement, a spokesperson for Mr Hogan said: "On the occasion that the Commissioner stopped-off briefly in Co Kildare on 17 August, en route from Kilkenny to Galway, he was stopped by a garda for using his mobile phone while driving.
"He stopped briefly at his apartment to collect personal belongings and essential documents relating to the EU-US trade negotiations, which continued while the Commissioner was in Galway."
The spokesperson also insisted the current lockdown guidelines for Kildare allow for exceptional travel outside the county for work reasons.
Calls for resignation
There have been growing calls for Mr Hogan to resign in the wake of the golf event controversy.
A number of Green Party politicians have called for the Commissioner to resign.
MEP Ciaran Cuffe said he thinks Mr Hogan "should go" despite the "downside" of having to replace the Trade Commissioner at a crucial moment in Brexit negotiations.
I've never been a fan of Phil Hogan; we clashed regularly when we were on the Oireachtas Environment Committee. The downside if he goes? Replacing a Trade Commissioner and many from his cabinet at this crucial juncture in EU-Brexit negotiations would strengthen the UK's hand
— Ciarán Cuffe (@CiaranCuffe) August 23, 2020
The Just Transition Greens group backed Mr Cuffe's call, suggesting the Commissioner's position is now "well beyond tenable".
Meanwhile, RISE TD Paul Murphy said an apology isn't good enough.
He suggested the Irish Government should formally contact European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to let her know they have no confidence in Mr Hogan.
Reuters reports that Ms von der Leyen has asked Mr Hogan to deliver a 'full report' on what happened with the golf event.