Preliminary talks among Government figures about the Cabinet reshuffle on 17 December are to begin later this week.

Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan has already indicated that the shape of Government departments will be examined.

There is likely to be a particular emphasis on which department will take responsibility for housing those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

This is currently overseen by the Department of Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

"We are going to have to look at new ways of doing things because this war does not look like it is going to end anytime soon," Minister Ryan said.

He added that temporary accommodation solutions will have to be replaced by longer-term measures and the reshuffle discussions will take account of this.

Meanwhile, Minister Helen McEntee finished work on Friday to begin maternity leave.

It is understood that the minister was not given any indication about what will happen in the Government reshuffle, but she has said previously that she would "love to see through" the reforms under way in the justice department.

Her portfolio has been assigned to Minister Heather Humphreys until 17 December.