Criticisms leveled at Leo Varadkar's new Cabinet

The number of women serving has dropped

Criticisms leveled at Leo Varadkar's new Cabinet

Cabinet members hold their first meeting in Áras an Uachtaráin | Image via @merrionstreet on Twitter

The Government of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been getting down to work, amid warnings they cannot waste any more time in getting the job done.

But the new Taoiseach has been facing criticism over not increasing the number of women at the top table.

Ministers have visited their departments to meet staff, get briefings and begin reading up on the job they have to do following Cabinet appointments on Wednesday.

There is criticism of the number of women in Cabinet - the number of ministers the same but the number of women present is down one, as the new Attorney-General is a man.

The National Women's Council of Ireland say the gender balance is "way off":

New Employment and Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty says: "At the end of the day I suppose the Taoiseach it's his choice.

"He said yesterday or the day before that he was going to choose not only on ability but also on geography and gender - I think he's probably done the best that he can do.

"The western seaboard obviously needed to be looked after given the loss of An Taoiseach and Michael Noonan, so I don't think we have any women over that neck of the woods".

Super Junior Minister Finian McGrath believes the balance in Cabinet is right: "It's great to see people like Regina Doherty being promoted, it's great to see people like Eoghan Murphy coming into housing.

"We need new, fresh, energetic people coming into the Cabinet - but also broadening out the Government and giving us a great sense of energy".

The biggest challenge for this Government now is to get straight to work and show tangible progress on issues.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has warned there is no more time to be wasted in delivering for the people.