Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill from Gortahork has been selected as the Fianna Fáil candidate in the forthcoming by-election in Donegal South-West.

The Taoiseach and Tánaiste were both in Glenties, Co Donegal, for the Fianna Fáil convention.

Senator Ó Domhnaill said it was a time to put aside politics as usual and that 'decisions vital to our future have to be taken immediately – they can’t wait for parties to stop the games and get serious.'

The 33-year-old has been a member of Seanad Éireann for the last three years. Before that he was an elected member of Donegal County Council and Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Meanwhile, Minister of State Conor Lenihan has said that there may be a General Election before next spring.

The minister said the Government had promised to hold two by-elections in the first quarter of the year - but he added that 'it may be that we're in a general election before then. I don't know.'

He told RTÉ's The Week in Politics programme that the Government would try to get the Budget through to help the country recover from recession.

But he said the Government would try to protect 'vulnerable pensioners' in the Budget.

While everything is being looked at, he said, the Government would try to protect 'to the utmost' vulnerable people in society, particularly older people.

Minister Lenihan also said it is very unlikely that Fianna Fáil would win the Donegal South West by-election.