The Social Affairs Minister Mary Hanafin has said she and her Government colleagues are "appalled" by the way the Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan's illness was disclosed on television.
TV3 reported on St Stephen's day that Brian Lenihan had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Ms Hanafin said the minister is "upbeat and in good spirits".
Mary Hanafin said: "Even public people are entitled to their privacy and are entitled to be sick in private."
She said the minister is recieving the support of his family and the backing of the general public along with excellent medical care.
The minister has made no comments about the reports of his illness but he is expected to make a statement on the issue next week.