Taoiseach Micheál Martin has hit back at suggestions that his predecessor Leo Varadkar is ‘running rings’ around him, following comments from within his own party.
He has also highlighted the importance of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and his public position during the Covid-19 pandemic.
His comments come following those of Fianna Fáil’s Marc MacSharry, who said the party had no leadership, and also called for acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn to stop appearing on television every night.
Micheál Martin addressed the issues on his visit to Cork on Friday.
“To be very clear, from the very outset since I formed the cabinet and appointed my Ministers Marc MacSharry has made it clear that he is dissatisfied. He’s entitled to his views.
“I disagree, of course, with them and I focus on the issues of substance such as dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic; dealing also with the challenges of Brexit; and...focusing on bringing a million people back to our schools in the last number of weeks, which I think is a very significant achievement,” he said.
Speaking on the issue of the CMO Mr Martin said that he seriously disagrees with his party colleague wanting to “take him off the screens or somehow disappear him from public view.”
The Taoiseach said: “That was something I couldn’t quite comprehend because the Irish people want to hear from the Chief Medical Officer. They value and respect the CMO Ronan Glynn, and indeed his predecessor Tony Holohan.
“Why? Because in a global pandemic people want information, they want reassurance. And, those societies that value public health advice have done best, so far, in this global pandemic,” he said.
“Those that endeavor to relegate the views of public health experts or disappear them, or take them off the screens, haven't done as well in terms of mortality or in terms of overall dealing with the issue of Covid-19,” he concluded.