Junior Minister Síle de Valera has categorically denied that any pressure has been put on her to resign her post.

Minister de Valera is standing down as a TD at the next election, and there has been widespread speculation that the Taoiseach was anxious to free up her post for a backbench TD who will be contesting the election.

But this evening she told RTÉ's Five Seven Live programme that no pressure had been exerted on her by the Taoiseach, and that no single individual in the party had mentioned the subject to her.

The Minister suggested that 'mind games are being played here', although she did not specify by whom.

There has been a two month delay in appointing a new junior minister to replace Ivor Callely, who resigned on Budget Day.