Donegal TD Jim McDaid has withdrawn his support for the Government and said he will consider voting against it in Dáil motions 'if and when necessary'.

His decision follows an acrimonious meeting of Fianna Fáil members in Letterkenny last night, which saw Dr McDaid and a number of his supporters walk out.

The party met to appoint officers for the Letterkenny/Milford electoral area. However, Dr McDaid left when the first two positions went to Niall Blaney supporters.

The former minister was followed by councillors Tadhg Culbert, Victor Fisher and Ciaran Brogan and today he informed the Chief Whip by letter that he had withdrawn his support for Government.

In his letter, Dr McDaid said that as a result of the inaugural meeting of the Letterkenny/Milford CC last night, he felt compelled to inform the party he has withdrawn his support from Fianna Fáil.

He reiterated his calls for a General Election and claimed that it would be in the interest of Fianna Fáil and, by extension, the country.

Outlining how he intends to vote on Dáil motions, he said that in a voting situation on the negative side one can abstain, be absent or against.

He said he has exercised two of those options in the past and now feels free to exercise the third, if and when he deems it necessary.

Dr McDaid concluded by saying that it was made clear to him last night that he is superfluous to the requirements of Fianna Fáil and that he will not stand over the party being decimated either locally or nationally.

The Fianna Fáil press office has confirmed that a letter has been submitted to the chief whip's office from Dr Jim McDaid TD withdrawing his support from the party.

A spokesman said this was a party matter and could make no further comment.