President Michael D Higgins' silence on speculation surrounding a second term has been described as "remarkable" by a Fianna Fáil senator.

Listowel based Senator Ned O'Sullivan said he hopes his party will put forward a candidate when the time comes.

President Higgins was elected in 2011.

Mr O'Sullivan said recent statements from Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar and some Labour deputies clearly indicated that a campaign was under way to have the president returned unopposed for a second term.

The longer this campaign continued, he said, the greater would be the pressure on President Higgins to clarify his intentions claiming the President's silence so far was remarkable given that he was not a man to shy away from comment.

Mr O'Sullivan said the President had what he described as "his own unique view of things" and the extent to which they were shared by the people would be best tested in an election.

He hoped that Fianna Fáil would be fielding a candidate when the time came and said he would be raising the issue at parliamentary party-level shortly.