Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said the Department of Enterprise has "finally" received redundancy notices from Twitter - saying there will be roughly 140 job losses.

He said: "My thoughts are with the staff who are affected, which is just over a third of the staff in Dublin. They can be reassured that they'll receive a lot of Government help."

Speaking at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in Athlone, he declined to speculate if more job losses could be coming, given the turmoil in the micro-blogging company.

He added: "Look, I can't predict the future.... There haven't been any suggestions, at this stage, that there will be any more."

It comes after Twitter temporarily closed its office in Dublin, and in locations around the world, as more staff chose to leave, sparking new concerns about the site's ability to stay online.

Asked if government has planned channels for departments and agencies to communicate with the public on alternative social media sites if Twitter collapses, Mr Varadkar said "speculating about the demise of Twitter is a bit premature".

He added: "Whatever platforms exist government will use them, and there are many other ways to connect with people and disseminate your message than Twitter so we're not dependant on it by any means to get our message across."

According to reports in the US, the social media giant has closed its offices until Monday over fears disgruntled staff could sabotage the company.

It comes after hundreds of workers are said to have rejected an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk to sign up for longer, more intense working hours in order to build a new "hardcore" Twitter - Mr Musk said those who did not sign up would be let go.

The Twitter boss had sent an email to staff on Wednesday asking them to click yes on a form to confirm they would stay at the company under his new rules, with those who did not by yesterday evening given three months' severance pay.

The number of staff choosing to leave appears to have surprised Mr Musk and his team.

The billionaire has now backpedalled on his insistence that everyone work from the office - his initial rejection of remote work had alienated many employees who survived the first round of layoffs.

And he softened his earlier tone in an email to employees, writing that "all that is required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring you are making an excellent contribution".

Workers would also be expected to have "in-person meetings with your colleagues on a reasonable cadence, ideally weekly, but not less than once per month".

Since taking over Twitter less than three weeks ago, Mr Musk has cut half of the company's full-time staff of 7,500 and an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation and other crucial efforts.

Many have now taken to Twitter to say their goodbyes to colleagues, while there are reports of hundreds of staff confirming in private message channels that they are leaving.

As a result, concerns have been raised that the platform could struggle to stay online as large numbers of people tasked with its maintenance leave the company and that any issues that arise could take longer to fix without key engineers in place to handle such problems.

#RIPTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter have been trending on the platform as users also consider leaving the site and some have begun pointing followers to their accounts on other platforms.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss has continued to tweet throughout the ongoing turmoil, often mocking the concerns raised about the company by posting memes and jokes about the situation.

"How do you make a small fortune in social media? Start with a large one," he joked.

He also claimed that the concerns were driving more traffic on the site, saying overnight the company had "just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage".

The departures include many engineers responsible for fixing bugs and preventing service outages, raising questions about the stability of the platform amid the loss of employees.

Elon Musk - the tech oracle causing a Twitter storm

Yesterday evening, the version of the Twitter app used by employees began slowing down, according to one source familiar with the matter, who estimated that the public version of Twitter was at risk of breaking during the night.

"If it does break, there is no one left to fix things in many areas," the person said, who declined to be named.

Reports of Twitter outages rose sharply from less than 50 to about 350 reports, according to website Downdetector, which tracks website and app outages.

In a private chat on Signal with about 50 Twitter staffers, nearly 40 said they had decided to leave, according to the former employee.

And in a private Slack group for Twitter's current and former employees, about 360 people joined a new channel titled "voluntary-layoff," said a person with knowledge of the Slack group.

Additional reporting: Paul Cunningham, Reuters