A special conference of the PDs is to be held in October to decide whether or not to wind up the party.

Party leader, Ciaran Cannon, said after tonight's meeting with PD councillors from around the country that it was the unanimous view of the four members of the parliamentary party that the party was no longer politically viable.

He said it was up to the members to make the final decision.

There has been continuing speculation that Noel Grealish, one of the party's two TDs, is planning to join Fianna Fáil.

The Galway West TD has been playing his cards close to his chest for the past few weeks.

Senator Cannon said Noel Grealish was only one symptom of a greater malaise that has affected the party over the past number of years, adding that Mr Grealish had given his full commitment to remain with the party until a decision on the future of the PD's was made.