The Junior Health Minister says he'd like to see a relaxation of the smoking ban.
Independent TD Finian McGrath made the call in the Sunday Business Post today.
While he had made the suggestion in the past its the first time he's reiterated it since taking office.
The minister has only just defused a separate controversy, by agreeing to pay his water charges on Friday night.
The minister said he still holds the 'private, personal view' that smoking should be allowed in designated sections of pubs and bars.
"I've seen it work in other EU countries," he told the Sunday Business Post.
"I was in Portugal with the justice committee two years ago and I saw it firsthand.
"I was in Germany a couple of years and - I think it was Frankfurt - they had a similar position and I saw it working," he said.