Ross rejects criticisms of performance as 'nonsense'
Transport Minister Shane Ross has described criticisms of his performance as "utter nonsense".
Mr Ross made the comments at a farcical press conference in Dublin yesterday.
The Independent Alliance TD repeatedly refused to answer questions on the issue of judicial appointments amid accusations that he is holding up the filling of a number of vacancies.
Mr Ross was attending a Tourism Ireland event in Ballsbridge.
Members of the media were told at the start of the press conference by Mr Ross's media adviser that questions should be confined to the issue of tourism.
No reason was given as to why other issues could not be raised.
Asked about criticism about his own brief, Mr Ross rejected it outright.
"Any criticisms I'm not spending enough time in the tourist portfolio are complete and utter nonsense," he said.
"There is simply no evidence provided by anybody to support that, not one scintilla of it."
Meanwhile, Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said 2016 is set to be the best year on record in terms of visitor numbers.
Some 10.5 million people will have visited the island of Ireland by the end of this year, the agency said.
This represents an 11pc increase on visitor numbers in 2015.