Former Government minister Jim McDaid apologised tonight for driving under the influence of alcohol after he was stopped by gardaí.
It is understood that the Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal North East was detained on suspicion of drink driving in the Naas area of Co Kildare last night and could now face prosecution.
Mr McDaid said he wished to “unreservedly apologise” for his “serious lapse in behaviour”.
“It was completely wrong of me to drive a car while under the influence of drink,” he said.
“This will now be a matter for the gardaí to deal with.
“I know that as a public representative I have a particular obligation to uphold the law.
“I wish to apologise to my family, my constituents and to the gardaí,” the former Sports Minister added.
Mr McDaid, a medical doctor by profession, was first elected to the Dáil in 1989 and has been re-elected at each subsequent election.
As a former Minister of State at the Department of Transport (with special responsibility for Road Traffic), Mr McDaid was involved in many high-profile anti-drink driving campaigns.
A garda spokesman said he could confirm a man was arrested on suspicion of drink driving on the N4 road at Naas at 10.30pm on Tuesday.
“He was taken to Naas Garda Station and later released. A sample has been sent for analysis,” he added.
Mr McDaid has been a prominent figure in the Dáil in his 16 years in the Oireachtas.
A former Fianna Fáil spokesperson for Equality and Law Reform, he was also a member of the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation and served on the Foreign Affairs Committee/Northern Ireland Sub Committee.
The popular Donegal politician was also a founder member and Chairman of the Donegal Hospice Movement.