I‘ve been trying out Nostradamus’ trick of staring into fire and water, and taking the odd sniff of nutmeg, to see if I can divine who might be in Leo Varadkar’s first Cabinet!

When a Taoiseach is picking his top team, all sorts of factors play in his mind.

Geography is important – there needs to be a balance between capital and country.

So too is gender – as men and women each make up half the population, it stands to reason that one-half of the Cabinet should be female and the other half male.

It goes without saying that a Minister needs ability to get to grips with their brief, and the nous that comes from political experience to dodge departmental landmines.

Finally, loyalty to the leader, backing the right horse and sticking with him.

For what it’s worth, this is my selection having regard to the above considerations, and bearing in mind the critical strategic threats the country is facing. Chief among these are the need to get the best deal for Ireland from Brexit, keep the lid on public spending and advance public sector reform, and tackle the threat of Islamist terrorist attacks. For these, the Taoiseach needs his most able and trusted people, so I start with them.

Brexit, Enterprise, Innovation and Trade: Simon Coveney

Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform: Paschal Donohoe

Security and Defence: Eoghan Murphy

Agriculture, Food and Marine: Paul Kehoe

Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs: Michael Ring

Children and Youth Affairs: Katherine Zappone

Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Denis Naughten

Education and Skills: John Paul Phelan

Foreign Affairs: John Deasy

Health: Simon Harris

Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government: Patrick O’Donnell

Justice and Equality: Frances Fitzgerald

Social Protection: Regina Doherty

Transport, Tourism and Sport: Shane Ross

Chief Whip: Helen McEntee

Remember that song by Public Image Limited? “I could be wrong, I could be right”!