The Taoiseach has told a meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party tonight that he intends to rejuvenate the party during its time in Government.

Micheál Martin told the elected representatives that he understood the pain felt by some but now was the time to get on with governing.

He said that senior party figures would take charge of renewing the party and they would work closely with councillors and Fianna Fáil groups across the country.

There was a commitment too that ministers would keep the party's TDs and senators fully briefed.

Some TDs and senators complained that they found it difficult to hear the speakers at the meeting given the large size of the room in the Convention Centre.

Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen addressed the meeting on the issue of forestry.

It is understood that he referred to carrying out an independent report on a recent landslide in Leitrim to find out if forestry activity contributed to the cause of the slide.

This drew a response from Sligo-Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry, who asked if Mr Cowen was "going native on the first day" and ordering independent reports on everything.

Mr Cowen told the meeting that he is preparing memo for Cabinet seeking to act on a Programme for Government commitment to align forestry licensing with the planning system.  

He said this would help alleviate the present logjam and avert a major crisis threatening the industry. 

Later in the meeting, Carlow-Kilkenny TD John McGuinness spoke about the micro finance debate today and he described ministers' responses as very "Fine Gael-ish" and said they were effectively defending the last nine years of Fine Gael in government.

Elsewhere, Kerry Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin was appointed the Deputy Government Chief Whip.

The former minister of State was described by Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar as one of the hardest working and most popular TDs in the party.