Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the Government made decisions regarding COVID-19 lockdown regulations at Christmas 2020.
Speaking from the UN General Assembly in New York, Mr Varadkar said an inquiry into Ireland’s response to COVID will likely have panel members in place by the end of the year.
He said, while the Government got “most things right”, it made a mistake by allowing some opening of businesses in late 2020 when a new variant was spreading.
“On reflection, both NPHET and Government made the wrong call,” he said.
“NPHET proposed one form of reopening which would have meant a lot of socialising in private houses, Government proposed a different reopening plan which involved some hospitality and some houses.
"In retrospect, there shouldn't been any opening up at all because of the Alpha variant, and that changed things fundamentally.
“But let’s not forget the advice from NPHET at the time was the Alpha variant was not a variant of concern at the time.”
He said “nobody got it right” when it came to lockdown regulations.
“We were slow to take up masks, we were slow to take up antigens,” he said.
Former Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan is due to release his memoir We Need to Talk on September 21.
The book details the story of “dealing with the most serious pandemic in a century in his professional life” and dealing with the death of his wife in 2021.
Dr Holohan is expected to criticise the Government’s decision to reopen pubs and restaurants in December 2020.