The former education minister Joe McHugh says he turned down an offer of a junior ministry because it was not the brief that he wanted.
He told former Taosieach Leo Varadkar that he understood the difficulty when he was informed that the numbers at the Cabinet table would be tight.
However Deputy McHugh told The Hard Shoulder he decided to reject the Minister of State offer when it was not in an area that he was interested in.
"I was under the very clear impression that the numbers were so tight that it was going to be difficult to keep everybody happy.
"The conversation with Leo [Varadkar] last Friday was fairly straight forward, he was straight up with me in saying it wasn't going to happen.
"I took that on the chin and I understood the difficulty with the numbers situation".
"Obviously then we had a conversation over the next couple of days about what was going to happen with the juniors.
"And he did offer me the opportunity to have a think about what I would like, I did think about it... also on the basis of how I could I continue to represent my own constituency not being around the Cabinet table anymore.
"I did make a play for the European ministry and also something in the line of tourism - because thinking even in my own constituency...we're going to have difficulties ahead with tourism.
"So, look, neither of those were in Leo's gift, and that being said I just said straight out 'I am not going to take any other junior ministry but I'd be really happy if I could get the chair of the European Union Affairs Committee' - to which Leo was happy to give that to me".
"I certainly don't believe I would have done justice to my constituency travelling around the country as a junior minister.
"And I don't want to be undermining the work of people in junior ministries, I was one for three years.
"I think it's a very, very important role - but having spent three years around the Cabinet table and having got so many policies across the line that will make it better for my county, I believe the best thing I can do now is spend time on the backbenches".