Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has said the Tánaiste had no involvement in the appointment of his wife to a post in the Department of Education.
Speaking on his way into Government Buildings, Mr Quinn said Carol Hanney had a career in her own right.
Mr Quinn said neither himself or Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore had any role in her appointment.
He said Ms Hanney was "not a political adviser" and was redeployed on the basis of her expertise in further education.
Mr Gilmore said it is disappointing some people seem to think that a woman should not have an independent career.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said his wife has worked in the education system for 37 years, most recently as the CEO of a Vocational Education Committee.
Mr Gilmore said VECs are being amalgamated and as a result some CEOs are being redeployed within the education system.
He said his wife is one of those being redeployed and is being treated in exactly the same way as other CEOs who are being redeployed.