Minister for Transport Shane Ross has been criticised for his handling of concerns over the future of Bus Éireann.

In the Dáil this afternoon, Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary said the minister "needs to step up to the mark and deal with the issue.

Mr Calleary's party colleague Robert Troy also questioned whether the minister had read a report into the company which was carried out by Grant Thornton.

Details of this report - including the recommended closure of the loss-making Expressway service, which handles intercity routes - were leaked to the media last week.

Mr Ross responded that he has met with the chair of Bus Éireann, who briefed him on the report before the minister then briefed the Cabinet on it.

He added that there area number of drafts of the report, which he emphasised is not a plan.

"The report is not a plan and it was not intended to be a plan," Mr Ross said. "The company is engaging in preparing an actual plan and it will complete that in the coming weeks."

Mr Ross said the company is losing €6m per year and these losses are not as result of taxpayer funding.

He also said that "Bus Éireann's losses stem from the company's Expressway service."

However Mr Calleary said that when he was briefed by the chair of Bus Éireann, Mr Ross should have asked for a copy of the report.

In a statement this evening, Mr Ross said that the proposals are "offered for negotiation along with an invitation to begin."