An Irish politician has apologized after he pulled a female colleague onto his lap during Wednesday night’s abortion debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.

Cork North East TD Tom Barry pulled Cork North West TD Aine Collins onto his lap at around 3am during the all night debate, when TDs were gathering for the first vote on the bill, RTE reports.

In a statement on Thursday, the Cork TD said: "What I did last night was disrespectful and inappropriate. I have apologised to Aine Collins and she graciously and immediately accepted my apology.

"No excuses, I just shouldn't have done it."

Fine Gael party officials described the incident as being "silly" and "clearly horseplay."

However Fine Gael General Secretary Tom Curran released a statement saying the party did not view it this way.

Curran said: "I wish to make it clear that the instinctive characterisation last night of the incident as 'horseplay involving two people' doesn't reflect how Fine Gael views this kind of behaviour, having seen the footage."

“That it happened on the floor of Leinster House makes it more so,” he said.

Irish leader Enda Kenny said he had not seen the incident.

Tom Barry, Irish TD 'inappropriate' Dail lap incident


Aine Collins and Tom Barry at the Finge Gael Ard Fheis 2012Sunday World