The Fianna Fáil sub-committee that will recommend whether the party contests the upcoming Presidential election met today in Dublin.

The committee's recommendation is expected to be adopted by the 36-member parliamentary party when they discuss the issue on Wednesday.

The meeting of the six-member sub-committee follows long weeks of speculation on whether Fianna Fáil will contest the 27 October election.

It comes just days after MEP Brian Crowley, one of three internal candidates who expressed an interest in standing, ruled himself out.

Mr Crowley said the party leadership has already made clear its opposition to running an internal Fianna Fáil candidate.

That belief is fuelled in part by Micheál Martin's ill-fated summer offer of support to broadcaster Gay Byrne, who ultimately decided he would not contest.

Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary has denied that a decision has been made not to run a candidate in the election.

Mr Calleary also said that today's meeting was not an exercise in optics.