A Fine Gael TD says the position of Katherine Zappone as a special UN envoy would be "at risk" if it is found an event at a Dublin hotel breached COVID-19 guidelines.
But TD for Cork North-Central, Colm Burke, is also defending the private outdoor function at the Merrion Hotel.
The event was hosted by Ms Zappone and attended by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.
Ms Zappone hosted around 50 friends and former colleagues at the event six days before she was appointed as Special Envoy for Freedom of Opinion and Expression.
Deputy Burke told Newstalk Breakfast he does not think the event breached COVID-19 guidelines.
"I'm not sure where you're seeing there's a breach of guidelines, it was an outdoor event as I understand it.
"My understanding was that it was an outdoor event, my understanding is that Leo Varadkar checked with the hotel.
"My understanding is that up to 200 people can attend an outdoor event, at the time that was the regulation that were there.
"I haven't checked the regulations, you've asked me the question, I haven't had the opportunity of reading the report extensively.
"My understanding is that the hotel advised that they were within the regulations."
But he adds that any confirmed breach of guidelines would put Ms Zappone's position "at risk".
"My view is that if there's any breach of guidelines in relation to any event, I think it's a case of first of all establishing that there was a breach of the guidelines - then it's not only that she's at risk, but also the hotel who allowed it to be hosted".
While Deputy Burke says there was not sufficient transparency or consultation on the appointment of Ms Zappone to the new role.
"We've given an importance to the appointment which I seriously question.
"It's someone who's being appointed to do 60 days of work per annum for over two years".
And Sinn Féin TD Matt McCarthy says the optics of the hotel event do not look good.
"I think what has emerged overnight is a whole different ballgame, to be quite upfront about it.
"I have looked through the article in the Independent - I do not see how the circumstances or the rationale or the excuses provided change in much ways from what happened in the Clifton Hotel 12 months ago.
"Essentially there was an attempt to beat the regulations by people who put in place the regulations in the first instance.
"So I think this goes way beyond Katherine Zappone at this stage".
In a statement, the Merrion Hotel says: "At all times since the start of the pandemic, we have adhered to Government public health measures including the relevant guidelines that were in place at the time of the event you reference on July 21st.
"These have since been updated on July 23rd.
"Government regulations at the time allowed for outdoor events of up to 200 people, and the definition of that includes social events.
"This upper limit still applies, except now indoor events in hotels are excluded per Government guidelines published by Fáilte Ireland."