Fine Gael TDs have been told the Government intends holding the next general election on Saturday 9 April 2016.

One TD confirmed that the Taoiseach informed the Parliamentary Party of this some time ago.

"He said put that date in your diary," the TD said.

The Government will have to run its full term for the election to be held on that date and would see the Coalition remain in office during the 1916 Centenary celebrations.

The Government has to call an election within 25 days of the fifth anniversary of the first sitting of the 31st Dáil on 9 March 2011.

This excludes St Patrick's Day, bank holidays and Sundays.

Easter Sunday in 2016 will fall on 27 March, the day the Government intends to commemorate the 1916 Rising.