Text messages between Leo Varadkar and Katherine Zappone ahead of the controversial Merrion Hotel event have been published.
They show Katherine Zappone asked the Tánaiste about taking up a UN special envoy role 11 days before Cabinet approved her nomination.
The messages - released by the Tánaiste's office - show Mr Varadkar asking Ms Zappone whether the event at the hotel was "definitely legal".
Ms Zappone says she'd confirmed with the hotel that it was in line with COVID rules at the time.
In another message, Ms Zappone asks the Tánaiste whether she'd heard anything from Minister Coveney about her appointment as 'special envoy for human rights and Lgtbq+ issues'.
Mr Varadkar said he hadn't heard anything, and then contacted his Fine Gael colleague for more information.
Text messages between Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney & Katherine Zappone on #MerrionGate pic.twitter.com/l4ta0cNLhW
— Kieran Cuddihy (@kierancuddihy) September 1, 2021
Ms Zappone ultimately turned down the role, amid political backlash over the appointment and the event she held at the Merrion.
In a statement, Leo Varadkar says the messages show he "wasn't aware of the appointment" and that he had contacted Simon Coveney for details about it.
He said: "Minister Coveney confirmed that his Department had been in discussions with Katherine on the role and that a memo would be brought to cabinet prior to any appointment being made. The Tanaiste made no further inquiries about the matter.
"Ms Zappone and the Tanaiste discussed the role briefly on the 21st of July at the outdoor function in the Merrion Hotel at which he expressed his support.
"The full details of the appointment were not made available until the day of cabinet the meeting on the 27th of July when Minister Coveney brought the proposal to the meeting."
The Tánaiste said he has accepted the issue should have been flagged with the Taoiseach and Green Party leader ahead of a Cabinet meeting.
He said he has apologised for the matter, noting "there should be no surprises in a coalition government".
Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Minister has defended deleting messages between himself and Katherine Zappone and himself and the Tanaiste.
However, Simon Coveney says this is prudent and something he does regularly as he has been hacked in the past.