Clare Independent TD Dr Michael Harty is to chair the Oireachtas Health Committee, which is one of the jobs assigned to Fine Gael last week.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Harty said in a statement: "I hope this committee will have an important role in shaping policy and legislation that will positively impact on our health services in the coming years. 

"Because of the makeup of the new Dáil, committees have an opportunity to influence government as never before."

Other appointments include Fine Gael Cork South West TD Jim Daly, who will chair the Children’s Affairs Committee.

Mr Daly's Fine Gael colleague, Carlow-Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan, has been assigned to the Budget Committee and his constituency colleague Pat Deering will chair the Agriculture Committee.

Earlier a meeting of the newly formed Business Committee heard that the Dáil and Seanad are facing an extended break because of refurbishment work which could take up to 11 weeks.  

It is thought the Dáil will rise for its summer recess in mid July.