The Taoiseach has said there will be movement shortly on the need to replace Phil Flynn as the chairman of the Decentralisation Implementation Committee.

Bertie Ahern said he had not spoken directly to Mr Flynn, and that although his resignation was a disruption and a distraction, everyone involved had to move on.

Mr Flynn resigned after Cork-based company Chesterton Finance, of which he was a non-executive director, came to the attention of gardaí in an investigation into money laundering.

The Taoiseach has also said there was no truth to concerns raised by Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny that public servants who signed on for promotion were being told they had to be prepared to work outside Dublin.

Mr Ahern said the decentralisation programme was a voluntary one, and that it was taking place in that spirit.

He said 45 staff in his department had applied for decentralisation.