New Tánaiste Mary Coughlan will today carry out her first official duty when she represents the Government at the Order of Business in the Dáil.
The Donegal South West TD will be deputising for Taoiseach Brian Cowen who is in Belfast for a round of engagements including talks with British prime minister Gordon Brown in Belfast.
Ms Coughlan will be answering questions from Opposition TDs on legislation.
The outgoing Agriculture Minister will also be preparing herself for her new portfolio position in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
A close ally of Mr Cowen, the popular mother-of-two had seconded his nomination for Fianna Fáil party leader last month.
She was Social and Family Affairs Minister in Bertie Ahern’s first Government from 1997-2002.
Her father Cathal Coughlan was a TD for Donegal South West from 1983-1986. Her uncle Clem Coughlan was also a TD in the constituency from 1980-1983.