Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has told the Dáil he regrets leaking a confidential GP contract to a friend of his.
Minister Varadkar rejected the suggestion there was anything criminal in what he did but admitted it wasn't good practice.
He said his motives were to inform the NAGP of negotiations that would impact them and to get buy-in for the contract deal reached.
Varadkar told the Dail that he only passed the information on to Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail as he was the President of the group and not because they were friends. He also said they were not as close as Dr Ó Tuathail had suggested.
The Tánaiste said access to that did not confer any commercial advantage to the NAGP as most of the detail was in the public domain.
However, he admitted deciding to share the document without telling anyone else in government was not appropriate:
"I do accept that the provision of the agreement by informal communicational channel to the President of the NAGP in the way that I did was not good practice."
“I regret that I did not ensure it was provided in a more appropriate, formal manner."
“It was an error and one I accept sole responsibility for. I know it has caused people to question my judgement but I hope, having heard my explanation, no fair-minded person will question my motivation or integrity.”
*Reporting by Sean Defoe