The Government is to review how it appoints UN special envoys in the wake of the controversy over the appointment, to such a role, of Katherine Zappone.

The former Minister for Children later turned down the appointment

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the appointments process will be reviewed after August, without setting a date.

Last week's planned appointment of Ms Zappone as Ireland's UN Special Envoy on Freedom of Opinion and Expression led to widespread controversy.

The appointment resulted in claims of cronyism from opposition parties as Ms Zappone was the only candidate considered for the new role.

The Government has rejected those claims.

In a statement to RTÉ News, a Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said officials will now examine how the Government appoints UN special envoys.

The spokesperson said the appointments process will be "reviewed" after August, saying any delay is because officials will now be focused on preparations for Ireland's upcoming presidency of the UN Security Council.

While saying special envoy roles are needed, the spokesperson said officials will "discuss internally and decide in due course" how future appointments will be made.

Sinn Féin Deputy David Cullinane said he thinks the appointment of Ms Zappone as special UN envoy was "stroke politics" by Fine Gael and that it has angered people.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Philip Boucher-Hayes, Mr Cullinane said people voted for change in the last election and there should be no more "of this cronyism and backroom deals".

Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd responded, stating that whatever mistakes were made regarding the appointment, "the fact is she (Katherine Zappone) is the best person I am aware of for that job. The talk of cronyism doesn't wash with the reality.

He also said that Ireland is sitting at the table of the UN Security Council which brings an opportunity to influence world opinion in other countries where LGBT issues are not addressed.

"No one is more qualified than Katherine Zappone to do that. Nobody has the experience that she has for fighting for the rights of people and the right to freedom of expression."

He also said both the Tánaiste and Taoiseach issued statements admitting mistakes were made.