At a time when thousands of people are losing their jobs, the wholesale closure of businesses looms large and living standards could crash, the behaviour of 'refuseniks' to take senior government positions as junior ministers appears petulant at the very least.
Jim O'Callaghan TD of Fianna Fáil has turned his back on high office.
Joe McHugh, a former education minister, and John Paul Whelan also refused to serve, saying they didn't get the jobs they wanted.
Dara Calleary at least had the good grace to take a job he didn't appear to want.
But he did let himself down by whingeing in public that the position of Chief Whip was a snub to his abilities.
In doing so, he echoed Cromwell's "to Hell or to Connacht" slur, which seems a bit rich for a man walking into a €135,000 salary (plus expenses and pension entitlements) as well as a Cabinet seat.
Somebody needs to remind them nobody has the divine right to sit at the top table, not even an eminent senior counsel such as Mr O'Callaghan.
If anything, these senior politicians should know better because they are regarded as men of ability and a cut above bog-standard TDs. But their peevish behaviour in recent days reveals deep-seated arrogance in the face of the economic and social meltdown due to Covid-19.
Public service is the main platform of political life - or at least it should be.
In normal times, it might be perfectly acceptable for politicians passed over for high office to have a hissy fit.
At this particular juncture in our history, facing the biggest crisis since the so-called 'Emergency' of 1939-1945, to have grown men throwing tantrums because they were left out of the three-cornered Cabinet or not offered their preferences, is a sad reflection on political life.
As we look around us the country is beginning to awaken from a 12-week slumber that has decimated the economy, shattered the social fabric of Irish life and had a deep impact on many people regarding their expectations in life, their jobs and their security.
And it is by no means over.
After 140 days, a Government is rising from the ashes of the last election, faced with all of these problems and challenges. At this time, to echo Lord Kitchener's poster, when 'Your Country Needs You' these men have told their party leaders, their constituents and the wider public: We Will Not Serve.
Of course, they will argue their perverse behaviour is justified because they were snubbed by their political masters, or the jobs they were allocated didn't suit them.
They need to be reminded of a variation of a quote often attributed to Mary Harney: "The worst day in government is better than the best day on the back-benches."
All cabinet appointments bring disappointments to somebody.
History is littered with politicians who feel snubbed, either because their talents haven't been recognised or their loyalty to their leader was in question.
The late Brian Lenihan Jr, a towering figure as finance minister when one was so badly needed, languished in the Dáil for years because he wasn't loyal enough for Charlie Haughey.
But he bided his time and when it came he was ready to serve and, if anything, the waiting sharpened the skills and the humanity he brought to the office.
As the lights dim and disappear in so many corners of society, as the country grapples with the new and alien realities that have so suddenly and dramatically overtaken us, we need the best and the brightest to take us into the new dawn.
It is somewhat sad to see that some have failed to realise that it isn't about them.
It's about something far more important - the greater good.