Fine Gael's by-election candidate Verona Murphy has broken her silence to express "deep regret" over comments she made about asylum seekers.
The Wexford candidate, who suggested asylum seekers who come to Ireland need to be "deprogrammed" as they may have been influenced by ISIS, has now said her comments were a "very poor choice of words".
Speaking on South East Radio, Ms Murphy said: “I would like to say I deeply regret the words used in my interview. I have expressed and I wish to express again my understanding of the offence and hurt that I have caused by my comments and I wish to sincerely apologise."
She added: “It is a learning curve, I intend to be better informed in the future and I did visit with the Syrian families in the centre in Dungarvan. I told them exactly what I had said. I asked for their forgiveness by making an apology and that was accepted.
“I was hugely impressed after four and a half hours by these families and it is that knowledge that I will be imparting, an informed knowledge,” she said.