Fianna Fáil's finance spokesman Michael McGrath has warned the Government that it cannot afford any more clashes with his party in the wake of the controversy surrounding the appointment of the former attorney general Máire Whelan to the Court of Appeal.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, Mr McGrath said that trust had been damaged by the affair and that, if another issue arose, it could lead to a general election.

Máire Whelan was appointed as a judge to the Court of Appeal last Monday, amid criticism over the process of her nomination and calls from Fianna Fáil for her to stand aside.

"We can't afford for any more examples like this to emerge or else inevitably we will be moving towards a general election if that were to take place. We don't believe it's necessary," said Mr McGrath.

Mr McGrath said the Government should focus on governing and that Fianna Fáil wanted to see progress on measures set out in the confidence and supply arrangement.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil's justice spokesman Jim O'Callaghan has called on the Government to heed remarks attributed to High Court President Mr Justice Peter Kelly in newspaper reports about the Government's Judicial Appointments Bill being "ill-conceived", "ill-advised" and being passed with "undue haste".

Fianna Fáil said it will repeal the Government's legislation if they are in power after the next general election, Mr O'Callaghan said.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, Jim O'Callaghan said: "If we get a majority after the next election and this piece of legislation is in place, and it's acting negatively, as I think it will do, well then we will repeal it."

"That is a deeply flawed piece of legislation, it's not just me saying it: The President of the High Court is reported as stating that it is ill-judged and it is being rushed.

"So this Government needs to listen to other individuals and it needs to listen to well-informed individuals," said Mr O’Callaghan.

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However, the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue has refused to be drawn on the reported remarks of Mr Justice Kelly.

Mr Justice Kelly said there was other areas, such as children's rights, where legislation is needed but that the judicial legislation is being given greater priority.

Asked about those comments today, the Minister for Finance said he was aware of them but that he was going to leave it to Mr Justice Kelly.

Mr Donohoe said he respected the independence of the judiciary.

On the new legislation, the Minister said this has been planned for over a year.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that he is "very conscious of the separation powers that exist between the Oireachtas and the judiciary, and I'm very minded of the of the Chief Justice comments on that very matter last week, and I think that really has to apply in both directions and both judges and politicans need to respect the separation of powers and ensure there is a decent distance between the judiciary and the Oireachtas".

Mr Varadkar was speaking at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh where he went to join the Muslim community as they celebrated Eid-al-Fitr.

"As far as the Judicial Appointments Bill is concerned the Government is fully behind it and it's going to be in the Dáil next week and we hope to have [it] enacted before the summer and that will bring about a major reform to the way judges are appointed making  it much more transparent and also ensuring all application go through the the appointments board which hasn't always been the way in the past," said Mr Varadkar.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Training and Skills John Halligan has confirmed that he would have resigned in solidarity with Shane Ross, if Mr Ross had resigned over Ms Whelan's appointment to the Court of Appeal.

When asked by interviewer Ivan Yates on Newstalk whether there had been a threat to bring down the Government, he said: "I think you better ask Shane that. I will say that if Shane Ross had gone, I've great loyalty to him - he's been very good to me, I would not have left him isolated."

Mr Halligan then agreed with Mr Yates, that meant a "yes" to his question.