A row has broken out between Sinn Féin and the Government over the procedure for holding next week's no-confidence vote in Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

The Tánaiste earlier this week apologised in the Dáil for "errors of judgement" after he gave a copy of a contract negotiated between the Government and the Irish Medical Organisation to rival GP group, the National Association of General Practitioners, in April last year.

Deputy Government Chief Whip Brendan Griffin said Sinn Féin had been totally irresponsible and made an embarrassing gaffe over its plans for this week.

Sinn Féin yesterday tabled a no-confidence motion in Mr Varadkar over his leak of a copy of a GP contract to a friend, saying his explanation was not credible.

Mr Griffin said votes on confidence motions had to be taken on the day, and the Dáil is due to sit in Leinster House on Tuesday when the debate will be held.

Votes can only be taken in the Convention Centre to allow all 160 TDs to be present with adequate social distancing.

A Sinn Féin spokesperson rejected the claims.

He said the party had submitted the motion on time by 11am Friday and there was no requirement to confirm it in advance. 

The Government has requested that the Dáil would sit in Leinster House on Tuesday afternoon for Leaders' Questions and that it would then adjourn so TDs can move to the Convention Centre for the motion of no-confidence.

Mr Griffin said it appeared that would be very difficult procedurally and he said "the gaffe" was very embarrassing for Sinn Féin.

He said that the extra sitting in the Convention Centre would also incur added costs and he said playing games with efforts to keep the Dáil open during Covid was irresponsible and unacceptable.

The Government is expected to defeat the motion as Fine Gael's coalition partners row in behind Mr Varadkar.

Meanwhile, The Mayor of Limerick, Fianna Fáil Cllr Michael Collins, has said he stands over using the hashtag "leotheleak" on Twitter this week in a comment about Mr Varadkar.

Alluding to the departure of Fianna Fáil ministers Dara Calleary and Barry Cowen, Mr Collins told RTÉ News: "On principle we cannot have two sets of rules for different ministers - irrespective who we are in Government with."

He used the hashtag earlier this week while supporting Fianna Fáil TD Jim O'Callaghan's critique of Mr Varadkar's explanation as to how and why he leaked a confidential document.

Responding to the comments made by Mr Collins, a Fine Gael councillor accused him of deploying Trump-style politics.

Cllr John Sheehan said: "When one assumes a position like mayor, one has to be conscious as first citizen they speak on behalf of all the people they represent."

Mr Collins later clarified that he was speaking as a Fianna Fáil councillor rather than as mayor.