Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has admitted that mistakes were made in relation to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions at Christmas 2020.
The measures included allowing three households to mix for social and family gatherings in homes, gardens and other outdoor settings, with social distancing observed.
Retail was also allowed to reopen and up to 50 people were permitted to gather at places of worship. Speaking in New York, Mr Varadkar said that, in hindsight, "there shouldn't have been any" reopening because of the presence of the Alpha variant of the coronavirus.
But he said he believed the Government "got most things right". "I think on reflection, both NPHET (National Public Health Emergency Team) and the Government made the wrong call," the Taoiseach said. "NPHET proposed one form of reopening, which would have meant a lot of social interactions in private houses. "Government proposed a different reopening plan, which involved some hospitality and some private houses. "In retrospect, there shouldn't been any opening up at all because of the Alpha variant, and that changed things fundamentally. "But let's not forget the advice from NPHET at the time initially was that the Alpha variant was not not an issue of concern. "So there's a lot of things to be worked through and I think ...