The 35-year-old was found guilty of making illegal contact with the eye area of Leinster captain Leo Cullen during the Heineken Cup semi-final in early May and was subsequently banned for 12 weeks.
And now, nearly 17 weeks after the Croke Park clash between Ireland's leading provinces and eight weeks after the end of the Lions tour, Quinlan has finally explained his feelings about an incident which substantially damaged his reputation.
"It was reckless. It was contact in the eye area and that was my own fault," Quinlan told RTE television.
"It's not something I intentionally tried to do. I'd never advocate for anybody to go near anybody's eyes.
"It certainly looked bad and it's something that has had a bad effect on me, my family and friends, and people that are close to me. And people who are close to me know that's not something that I'd do and I'd just like to let people hear me say it and be honest about it."
Quinlan, who will be available for selection for the second round of Munster's defence of their Magners League crown, also spoke of his admiration for the manner in which Cullen dealt with what happened after the former Leicester lock declined to make an issue of the incident despite plenty of questioning from the media.
"Speaking to Leo after the game he didn't have much recollection of anything that happened and was top class about it and certainly helped me in the hearing," added Quinlan.
"I have to compliment him on that and thank him, because from my point of view it was a massive regret, and it's my own fault.
"It's something that I fully regret and have to take ownership for, but my intention was to just try to pull Leo off whatever way I could and unfortunately what happened, happened.
"I'd like people to know that it was a reckless mistake - it wasn't intentional from my point of view."