The Government's own legal advisor was given a high-paying job as a judge - without applying for it.
Maire Whelan, the Attorney General, was chosen for a vacant seat on the Court of Appeal at yesterday's Cabinet meeting.
However, it has been confirmed that Whelan's name was not put forward by the official state body responsible for scrutinising judges.
The job on the Court of Appeal became vacant in March, but the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board was not able to name any candidates for approval.
This left the Government with the power to nominate Ms Whelan, who has attended Enda Kenny's Cabinet meetings for six years, to the role which carries a salary of more than €180,000 a year.