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Who are the Cabinet 'hawks' and 'doves' deciding the next steps for Ireland's coronavirus restrictions

Hugh O'Connell


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Dr Matt O Faolain, Dr Philip Dowling, HSE CEO Paul Reid, Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, and Sarah Totney RGN at the COVID-19 Community Assessment Hub in DCU Collins Avenue. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Dr Matt O Faolain, Dr Philip Dowling, HSE CEO Paul Reid, Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, and Sarah Totney RGN at the COVID-19 Community Assessment Hub in DCU Collins Avenue. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

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Dr Matt O Faolain, Dr Philip Dowling, HSE CEO Paul Reid, Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, and Sarah Totney RGN at the COVID-19 Community Assessment Hub in DCU Collins Avenue. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Just as the public are becoming more restless with the Covid-19 lockdown, so too are members of the Cabinet which will decide tomorrow how long restrictions will last and how they might gradually be lifted.

While no minister is flippantly arguing for a full-scale reopening of the country in the coming weeks, divisions - or a "diversity of views" as the Taoiseach described it - emerged for the first time at Tuesday's Cabinet meeting.

"If I wasn't hearing different views from my ministers on any issue I'd actually be kind of worried because that would be a sign of group-think or a sign that they're not somehow free to express their opinions," Mr Varadkar, who did not express a strong view either way at the meeting, said yesterday.