Taoiseach concerned about leaks from Cabinet discussions

Issue raised after reports that three ministers told Cabinet this week they wanted HSE boss to step down

Leo Varadkar expressed his concern at the weekly meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party on Wednesday night.  File photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Leo Varadkar expressed his concern at the weekly meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party on Wednesday night. File photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he is disappointed about leaks to the media on Cabinet discussions.

Mr Varadkar expressed his concern at the weekly meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party on Wednesday night about leaked discussions from Tuesday’s Cabinet on the future of HSE director general Tony O’Brien.

Mr Varadkar said he and Minister for Health Simon Harris had to answer questions on Mr O’Brien’s position after the leaks.

The Irish Times first reported that three ministers - Finian McGrath, Katherine Zappone and Michael Ring - said at the cabinet meeting that Mr O’Brien should stand down.

The divided opinion within the Cabinet was later raised in the Dáil with Mr Varadkar, when Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald referenced the differing views among ministers.

Supporting Mr Varadkar, former minister for finance Michael Noonan said leaks from Cabinet are a criminal offence, while leaks in general - such as those from parliamentary party meetings - display disloyalty.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan also said Cabinet leaks are a criminal offence.