Taoiseach Enda Kenny has admitted he appointed John McNulty to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).
Having previously distanced himself from the controversial appointment, Mr Kenny for the first time admitted his role in the affair and acknowledged it was a mistake.
Mr McNulty was the Fine Gael candidate for the Seanad by-election and was appointed to the board by Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys to ensure his election.
Speaking during the Leader's debate on RTE, Mr Kenny confirmed during the debate he had made the decision, one he “shouldn’t have made”.
His admission was seized upon as Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said this was the first time the Taoiseach admitted his role in the process.
Speaking to reporters after the debate, Mr Kenny said he took responsibility for the appointment, adding it "was not my finest hour".
"I dealt with this in the Dail, I accept responsibility, but it was not my finest hour".
Mr Kenny said he has put in place a new set of protocols around such appointments.