Mary Lou McDonald calls Leo Varadkar's attack on NPHET "over the top" 1 month ago

Mary Lou McDonald calls Leo Varadkar's attack on NPHET "over the top"

"I think in a way that was over the top."

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has criticised Tánaiste Leo Varadkar for comments about NPHET on Monday night.

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Varadkar appeared on Claire Byrne Live on Monday night and issued stinging criticism of NPHET and Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.

The criticism centred around the advice of NPHET emerging on Sunday, which advocated Level 5 restrictions, without any consultation with the government.

Speaking on Tuesday, McDonald told Newstalk Breakfast it was not helpful for a member of the government to "come out and gratuitously attack NPHET".

"The Tánaiste berated NPHET in a very public way, and I think in a way that was over the top," McDonald said.

"For me this is more evidence of the fact that we have a chaotic Government, and we have a Government that seems incapable of operating in an appropriate fashion."

She said she agreed with NPHET's concerns about the capacity of hospitals and the number of intensive care beds, calling them "bang on the money" and said it was wrong for the government to answer that back.

However, McDonald said she ultimately agreed with the government's decision that a move to Level 5 would be too much for the country, calling it "too dramatic".

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She said it was NPHET's role to advise and the government had "correctly governed".

"A move to level 5 at a time when govt has cut income supports would have been catastrophic for workers, families and businesses," McDonald wrote on Twitter.