Now that the programme for government has been agreed, pending all the usual ifs and buts, the real business begins - deciding who should get all those plum jobs in cabinet. The big question is: how many of them should go to women?
The maths is straightforward enough. There were 36 women elected to the 33rd Dail at February's election (only one more than in 2016), compared to 124 men.
Of those fortunate few women, 23 will be sitting on the opposition benches, compared to 49 men, a significantly higher representation than in the Dail as a whole - though still far from equal.
On the government benches, there will be just 13 women - five from Fianna Fail, six from Fine Gael, and two from the Greens - compared to over 70 men. Women will make up a mere fifth of the government. By any standards, that's a woeful state of affairs.
But it gets even worse.
Assuming that there are 18 full members of the new cabinet, as there are now, and that the seats were to be allocated proportionately to the gender breakdown of the ranks of government TDs, it would mean four female, and 14 male, ministers - the same as currently (two other women also get to attend cabinet meetings).
Why not make it half and half? Why shouldn't there be nine women in cabinet, and nine men, as the National Women's Council recently called for?
The arguments against it from opponents of gender quotas are easy to predict.
Cabinet positions should be decided on merit, not biology, they'll say. Experience matters more than optics. Government is not there to represent the country, but to run it efficiently, especially at a time of crisis when the economy, having already taken a direct hit from Covid-19, faces another struggle at the end of the year with the renewed possibility of a no-deal Brexit.
No doubt there are even some who'll say such an arrangement would be unfair to men, because, if fewer women are elected to the Dail, then they would individually have a better chance than their male colleagues, percentage wise, of getting into cabinet.
In principle, these are all sound arguments. In reality, they're just excuses, unless we buy into the notion that the men who've traditionally made it into the highest offices of the Irish government all did so entirely on merit.
If Ireland was indeed a functioning meritocracy, it would be criminal negligence to tamper with government selection purely for the sake of sending out the right signals, just as it would be wrong to select members of a football team on the basis of balanced representation, rather than on which players can score most goals.
But who are we kidding by pretending that the best candidates always rise to the top, and it's a mere coincidence that they overwhelmingly happen to be men?
A paltry 19 women have held ministerial office in Ireland since independence. A few rogues and chancers aside, most of the men who've done so in their place were diligent, dedicated, and decent public servants; but they were only rarely elder statesmen, without whose combined wisdom Irish society would have foundered on the rocks. In most cases, women could have done an equally solid job.
There's also no evidence that a country suffers when it accepts gender parity. French President Emmanuel Macron had a 50/50 split between men and women in his first cabinet. So did Canada's Justin Trudeau. Both countries are still standing at time of writing. That's one part of these leaders' approach that Leo Varadkar did not follow when he became Taoiseach.
It certainly shouldn't be necessary to prove that women would make better politicians than their male counterparts before they get the same number of seats round the cabinet table. Feminists often fall into the tempting trap of arguing that women would be better than men at running the country.
That old canard has been revived thanks to the fact that some countries which happen to have female leaders, such as Germany and New Zealand, have seen fewer Covid-19 deaths than many countries with male leaders. It's been taken as proof that women are more effective in a crisis.
There is some evidence that having a higher number of women in government leads to more collaborative and bipartisan approach to problems - and even that it improves, among other things, the overall health of the population, and more so for male health than female, interestingly enough.
The problem with this argument is that it makes it seem as if women have to be better than men in order to justify their place in positions of power. It also leads to women being judged harshly if others who share their biology fall short, as if every woman must represent all women. Men mess up all the time without damaging the reputation of their entire gender.
Female politicians and ministers shouldn't have to be better than men. They only have to be equally as good - or, to put it cynically, no worse. But in order to get to a point where that is accepted, it will need feminists themselves to change how they discuss power.
Ideologues in the sex war have long been guilty of not taking the win when women with whose principles they don't agree nab high-profile roles in government.
Margaret Thatcher will always be Britain's first female prime minister, but she's still not considered perfect enough by feminists to be celebrated. Mary Harney will always be Ireland's first female tanaiste, as well as the first woman to lead a party in Dail Eireann, but that, likewise, is insufficient to earn respect or support from the Irish feminist establishment, who loathed the Progressive Democrats' leader during her time in office and haven't softened their attitude towards other right-of-centre women since.
As the votes were being counted in February, Women For Election, an organisation whose boast is that it "inspires, equips and supports women to succeed in politics", tweeted out congratulations to every single female TD as she was elected. That included Verona Murphy when she was returned as Independent TD for Wexford.
It sparked a furious backlash on social media due to the former Fine Gael candidate's previous comments that some asylum seekers might need to be "deprogrammed" of radical dogma so that they don't present a danger to Irish people. In response, Women For Election - despite claiming to be "non partisan, meaning we don't take sides with specific parties or beliefs" - backed down and deleted the tweet, saying: "It was a mistake, for which we apologise unreservedly."
This is what happens when a simple longing that there should be more women in politics is allowed to splinter into a demand that only certain women should be in politics. Studies in Canada have concluded that the benefits which come from having more women in politics happen irrespective of whether they're on the left or right, so it's only blind partisanship which puts up such barriers.
The good news is that studies into female representation in advanced democracies also suggest there is a concrete floor to balance out that infamous glass ceiling.
Once a certain number of women are appointed to cabinet, each subsequent head of government either appoints the same, or a higher, number of women as his predecessor, even when there's a change of party. Donald Trump's presidency is the one exception.
Setting a new, improved concrete floor for Irish women in the new cabinet would be a powerful way of countering the charge that the new government does not represent the change for which people voted in February.
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