Minister apologises for Dáil time spent debating '30-second conversation' with INM lobbyist

Denis Naughten has said he is sorry the controversy over his conversation with a lobbyist from INM has taken up four days of attention in the Dáil.

The Minister insists he did nothing wrong when he told the PR executive the proposed takeover of Celtic Media was likely to be referred to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for scrutiny.

It is alleged his intervention was insider information and possibly in breach of stock market rules as it led to the conversation being shared with Denis O'Brien and no other INM shareholder.

Minister Naughten apologised in the Dáil this morning, saying: "The reason that I regret and apologise is this is the fourth day in a row in this house that we've been discussing this issue here regarding a 30-second conversation that I had.

"Giving an opinion that I sincerely regret giving, and that's why I'm apologising to this house and to the public out there that this house has been preoccupied about this for four days in a row."

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