Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned his party that decisions to be taken at the end of the current Level 5 lockdown will be “difficult”.
Speaking at the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday, Mr Martin told his colleagues that the hospitality sector “will be a problem” according to the Irish Examiner.
He said he wanted Christmas to be “meaningful, enjoyable and safe” and that it would be about “trusting the public with their personal behaviour” according to the Irish Times.
Mr Martin argued the Republic is doing well on controlling Covid-19 in comparison to most European countries.
He said Government will make a decision on exiting Level 5 lockdown next week, and that there will be a Dáil debate on the issue beforehand.
There were calls for clarity on the reopening of pubs for Christmas, with Senator Lisa Chambers saying pubs were coming under pressure to order kegs in time.
However, she expressed the belief they would not be able to do so, and that the public may not want to go to a pub even if they were open.
Sources said the general view at the meeting was that there should be no differentiation between wet pubs and dry pubs.
Clare TD Cathal Crowe said the impact on families working in the hospitality sector should be considered.
TD Marc MacSharry criticised the handling of the proposed ban on takeaway pints, which was diluted earlier in the week to a ban on gathering outside to drink alcohol, before being withdrawn at Cabinet.
He said its introduction was a knee-jerk reaction and that the Cabinet memo was “ill thought out”.
The party’s meeting also heard recriminations over the Fianna Fáil general election campaign with some members critical of the party’s “air war” and how its Dublin headquarters ran election strategy.
A review of the election is underway, steered by Minister of State Seán Fleming. The party was generally seen to have underperformed expectations in the general election.