Bacik apologises for attendance at Merrion Hotel event

Newly elected TD says Labour party leader has accepted her apology

Ivana Bacik said she regretted ’brief attendance’ at the event. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Ivana Bacik said she regretted ’brief attendance’ at the event. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Ivana Bacik has apologised over her attendance at the controversial Merrion Hotel event that led to Katherine Zappone stepping down as a special envoy to the United Nations.

In a statement issued on Monday, the newly-elected Dublin Bay South TD said that she was briefly in attendance at the event, which was also attended by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, on July 21st.

“I understood the event was within the regulations but regret my brief attendance in the circumstances and apologise for being there. Alan Kelly has accepted my apology,” she said, adding that she had been at the event for “approx. 15/20 minutes”.

Ms Zappone stood back from the Government-appointed position of Special envoy for freedom of opinion and expression last week following the revelations, and a days of recrimination over how the appointment was handled by the Government - as well as its subsequent leaking from cabinet.

Ms Bacik’s campaign manager Duncan Smith was among those to criticise the event in the hours after Mr Varadkar’s attendance emerged, but before the fact that Ms Bacik also attended was revealed.

The event was also attended by Dónall Geoghegan, a senior advisor and joint chief of staff to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. No apology or statement has issued from Mr Geoghegan or the Green Party in relation to his attendance at the event.