An Opposition TD has been criticised for comparing measured around the reopening of indoor dining to those introduced by the Nazis in 1930s Germany.
Speaking in the Dáil, Taoiseach Micheál Martin asked Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath to "refrain from his frequent use of language" like "Nazis" and "totalitarianism".
"You consistently make ridiculous assertions in this house that insult and are offensive to people," Mr Martin said.
"Do you understand what Nazism is about, do you understand what the Holocaust was about?" the Fianna Fáil leader asked.
He said Mr McGrath has "repeatedly" compared the Government to "Nazis".
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has asked Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath to 'refrain from his frequent use of language' like 'Nazis' and 'totalitarianism' when describing Covid-19 measures, saying the comparison is insulting and offensive to people | Read more: https://t.co/eGUxxEjcpb pic.twitter.com/m6qdDpb8fB— RTÉ News (@rtenews) July 13, 2021
Earlier Mr McGrath dismissed the measures to allow people drink and dine in bars and restaurants as being both "unworkable" and similar to those which were introduced in Nazi Germany.
Mr Martin said the goal is to reopen hospitality in line with advice from public health authorities. He said there is a responsibility to "protect those who are not vaccinated."
Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmor also objected to references to the Holocaust made by Mr McGrath, and read comments from the Auschwitz Museum criticising him.
The Twitter account representing the Auschwitz Memorial tweeted Mr McGrath earlier this afternoon, saying "Instrumentalization of the tragedy of all people who between 1933-45 suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the hateful totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline."
The account directed Mr McGrath to a seven-lesson free online course about the history of the Holocaust.
The Minister of State for European Affairs also said that "absolutely nothing" compares to Nazi Germany.
Thomas Byrne said in a tweet that "every comparison made diminishes the memory of that unique evil, and the slaughter of millions of Jews."
Nothing, absolutely nothing, compares to Nazi Germany.— Thomas Byrne (@ThomasByrneTD) July 13, 2021
Every comparison made diminishes the memory of that unique evil, and the slaughter of millions of Jews.
We must continue to remember the absolute horror and terror of the Holocaust to ensure it can never happen again.
Earlier the Rural Alliance of Independent TDs, of which Mr McGrath is a member, accused the Government of exercising a "kindergarten-level of control" over TDs in trying to pass its bill to allow indoor dining to resume with only 110 minutes of debate.
Mr McGrath said the group of six TDs, which has not seen the detail of the legislation, will have only five minutes to contribute to a debate on the bill, which he said is "draconian in the extreme".
The group will table a motion tomorrow morning raising objections on constitutional grounds, citing the rights to bodily integrity, assembly, and freedom to practice religion.
He expressed shock that vintners had accepted the measures in the bill, saying they had been "bullied and blackmailed" into supporting it.
Call for extra sittings to scrutinise legislation
Meanwhile members of the Opposition have called on the Government to schedule additional sittings of the Oireachtas next week to allow scrutiny and debate of important legislation.
During Order of Business, Sinn Féin TD Padraig McLoughlin accused the Government of showing "contempt for the Opposition" in rushing through legislation before the Summer recess.
He cited the bill ceding Rockall to Britain, and said the Government was acting in a "derisory, disrespectful" way.
Richard Boyd Barrett of Solidarity-PBP expressed "huge concerns" around the vaccination passport and said more time was needed to examine the proposed measures.
Labour TD Duncan Smith said there is not enough time to debate the Health Amendment Bill which deputies "have only seen today".
He noted there was a walk-out this time last year, "which is not what we want to see".