'IT is that added product, that by and large was imported, that we suspect may have been the source of the problem in terms of the DNA test. When we know the facts around that – and we will know that very quickly – we will let people know." (Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, January 15).
Ten days on and Simon Coveney is neither focusing on the foreign products nor providing answers quickly.
In contrast to the cool customer who appeared on top of the crisis when it first emerged, the minister was floundering about yesterday, trying to explain why the origin of the horse meat had still not been established.
Mr Coveney (pictured) was vehemently denying that he had stated it was from a foreign source.
True, but he certainly pointed the finger of blame in that direction, despite his protestation that he only puts facts in the public domain.
The minister is treading the fine line between scandal and debacle.
His efforts to play down the loss of the Burger King contract by a plant at the centre of the controversy have simply raised questions about what attempts he made to reassure major customers the issue was being dealt with.
But the Irish Independent also understands that Burger King was unhappy with the pace of the investigation, which has still not definitively identified the source of the contamination.
A lack of communication from the Department of Agriculture and the extent to which Burger King was kept in the loop as the crisis unfolded have also been cited in some quarters as sources of contention.
The minister has repeatedly refused to say if he made contact with the management at the global fast-food giant in order to brief them on the Government's efforts to get to the bottom of the affair.
Frequently, ministers will claim the credit when a jobs announcement is secured and point to their own personal intervention to elaborate on government policy.
Yet when a contract is lost and Ireland's reputation is being damaged, the minister can't say what actions he has taken to address the concerns of major clients.
The slow progress in finding the source of the horse meat continues a pattern of a slow response.
Yesterday morning, Mr Coveney argued: "With anything I announce, I need to be credible."
His credibility is now waning as the full explanation in a transparent manner delivered quickly that he promised a week-and-a-half ago still hasn't materialised.