Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has rebuked his predecessor Simon Harris over suggestions there is no protocol in place for "spare" Covid-19 vaccines.
The Herald has learned Mr Donnelly indirectly hit out at Mr Harris at the Cabinet meeting yesterday while updating ministers on the latest developments with the roll-out.
The Fianna Fáil minister was said by sources at the meeting to have reminded colleagues that the Cabinet had discussed in detail and signed off on the vaccination plan before Christmas.
While he did not directly address Mr Harris, one source said: "It wasn't that subtle."
On Monday, Mr Harris raised concerns about the lack of clear protocols around how spare vaccine doses are used following controversy over the Coombe Hospital giving 16 vaccines to family members of staff.
Speaking at Government Buildings, the Higher Education Minister said he would be very concerned if there was not a protocol in place for what should be done with leftover vaccine doses.
"Either this is a situation in place, where there is a protocol about what you do with so-called spare vaccines and that wasn't followed, or more concerning if there isn't a protocol in place," the Fine Gael minister said.
Mr Donnelly was said by one Cabinet colleague to have been "a bit miffed" by the comments and implied this annoyance when addressing the issue of leftover vaccines at the weekly Government meeting.
The Cabinet source said: "It was put forward pretty forcefully, he just said there has been some public comment about lack of clarity around protocols - but let's be clear there are protocols, anyone who needs assistance can contact him directly."
A second Cabinet source described it as an "indirect" rebuke, but said it was clear to those in the room what Mr Donnelly "was getting at".