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The ban is said to be born out of security concerns.
no phones allowed

Government ministers to be banned from using phones at Cabinet meetings from today

The Minister for Finance confirmed the ban this morning,

GOVERNMENT MINISTERS WILL be banned from bringing phones into Cabinet meetings from today, the Minister for Finance has confirmed.

Reports that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar instituted a ban on smart devices at the round table began circulating last night, with Government citing security concerns.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Minister Michael McGrath verified these claims and expressed agreement with the policy.

“I have absolutely no problem with it – it is common in many countries,” he said.

Given the nature of security threats nowadays and the way in which our devices can potentially be exposed, I think it’s a sensible move.

When asked if ministers might need access to phones or tablets while awaiting the result of an important policy decision, Minister McGrath said that generally he would have carried his phone on his person but would not have used it in Cabinet meetings.

He said: “You might check something on it, check a piece of information, but I generally would have kept it but had it on airplane mode.”

It has been widely reported that the ban was instigated by the Taoiseach and born out of updated internal security advice in Leinster House.

It is believed that it is meant to bring Cabinet in line with information protection measures implemented by governments in other countries, including 10 Downing Street.

The move also follows numerous controversies over leaking from Government in recent years, including an investigation into the Taoiseach over the leaking of a GP contract in 2019.

No charges came from the investigation.

Varadkar’s second Cabinet meeting of his second term as Taoiseach is taking place this afternoon.

It is believed the Coalition’s new Climate Action Plan will top the final pre-Christmas agenda, as well as the appointment of junior ministers.

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