Paschal Donohoe condemns scenes of large gatherings in Dublin as "appalling" and "shocking"
He said the behaviour poses a risk to all involved and their loved ones.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has described the scenes of large numbers of people gathered in the Milltown area of South Dublin on Tuesday evening as "appalling" and "shocking".
Images and videos circulated on social media show hundreds of young people congregating alongside the River Dodder on Tuesday.
Some of the people were drinking, with locals later taking to social media to complain about the amount of litter left behind.
Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show, Donohoe said: "They're appalling scenes, and it’s exactly the risk of that kind of behaviour that runs the risk of unravelling the progress that we are making and makes it even more difficult to get to a better place for our country in the coming weeks and months.
“It is the kind of behaviour that of itself poses a risk to all involved in it and to their loved ones.
"The repetition of it in the coming weeks and months would directly undermine our ability to beat this disease.”
In a statement to JOE about the gathering, a Garda spokesperson said: "Gardaí attended an open area beside a licensed premises yesterday evening Tuesday, 20 March, 2021 and moved on a large number of persons.
"All persons were compliant."
Other images and videos circulated on social media highlighted similar scenes alongside the Grand Canal and in St Stephen's Green in Dublin.