An Irish politician has issued an apology after he was caught on video pulling a female colleague onto his lap during an abortion debate.
The Republic of Ireland’s upper house debated into the early hours of Wednesday morning over landmark legislation that would grant abortion rights in the cases where the life of the mother was at risk.
Fine Gael TD Tom Barry was caught on parliament video forcing TD Aine Collins to sit on his lap, in an incident that has since become known as "Lapgate."
"I went to the Dail bar but I wasn’t drinking excessively," Barry explained. "There was nothing pre-meditated, it was stupid, it was disrespectful."
The Irish parliament's open bar was reportedly closed for the Thursday session when lawmakers were only seen with coffee.
"I spoke to my wife this morning and all she said to me was, ‘You big eejit.’ I feel so embarrassed over this," he said. "It should never have happened. I would be the very first one to say that."
Nonetheless, Barry went on to say he was "shocked" that the incident was being seen as sexist when it had been intended as "horseplay."
"I feel very upset that it is being described as that [sexist]. I didn’t intend to offend anyone and I can’t offer any excuse other than to put it down to stupidity, naivety and inexperience."