Minister of State Niall Collins has insisted he did not break any laws by attending a council meeting discussing the sale of land his wife would later purchase.
The Junior Minister admitted "it would have been better" if he had not attended the meeting, in which Limerick County Council land - which would eventually be sold to his wife - was being discussed.
In a statement to the Dáil on Thursday, Deputy Collins said when the proposal was put forward neither he nor his wife were interested in purchasing the land.
He told the Chamber that he now believes he should have excused himself from that meeting.
When the Council Executive recommended to the Bruff Area Committee that the property should be put up for sale in January 2007, neither I nor my wife had any pecuniary or beneficial interest in that property," he said.
"In hindsight, and given the focus and perception among some that has arisen in 2023 - some 15 years later - it would have been better had I not participated in the local area committee meeting in January of 2007, even though it is absolutely clear that my wife did not benefit in any way from my attendance.
"However when I did attend, it was my full understanding - and it remains the same today - that I was not participating in a discussion or a decision that in any way contravened the 2001 Local Government Act.
"No law was broken; I did not participate in any decision that authorised the sale of this land.
"This could only be done by the full county council in accordance with the statutory process," he added.
'Not an independent media platform'
Earlier Tánaiste Micheál Martin said the Dáil should not become a 'slave' to what he described as ‘organised political campaigns’ by news outlet The Ditch.
The online platform published a series of articles surrounding Minister Collins and the decision by Limerick Council to sell land on the open market in 2007.
Mr Martin said he does not believe The Ditch is an independent news outlet.
"The whole agenda is to create the campaign, get to the paid ads, get it trending, attack media if they don't cover it and then we'll get it into the Dáil for questions and answers," he said.
"We'll take our call on this, we'll make our judgement call on this, as to the balance in terms of how we approach it in terms of Dáil questions and so on like that.
"But I'm very clear now what's going on here: there's a political organisation out there, it's not an independent media platform by any stretch of the imagination".
Mr Martin said what happened needs to be analysed.
"Look at that whole campaign and how it's organised over the last week," he said.
"It deserves analysis: the trending, the build-up, the hashtags, the algorithms, the paid ads.
"The berating of media for daring not to discuss it or cover it - extraordinary full-frontal attacks on the national broadcaster, on other TVs [sic] and other media," he added.
Additional reporting: Mairéad Cleary