Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has returned to work today following six months on maternity leave.

She was the first minister to give birth while in office and the first Cabinet member to take formal maternity leave.

The Meath East TD gave birth to a boy, Michael, in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin in April.

She agreed a pairing, or voting arrangement, with Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns for the duration of her maternity leave.

Ms McEntee will be holding briefings this week with her officials on priority areas for the department, including garda issues, gender-based violence and family law reform.

Minister Heather Humphreys took over the justice brief during her absence.