President Michael D Higgins has written to the Oireachtas to raise concerns about the volume of complex legislation he has been asked to consider in short periods of time.

In a letter sent the past week, the President said the handling of legislation was "less than ideal and unnecessary".

President Higgins raised issues about the volume of bills he had to consider in the final two weeks before the Dáil rose for its Christmas and summer breaks.

He said in the three weeks since the beginning of July, he was asked to consider "19 separate bills. Nine were presented on one day."

The President said the legislation was required "to be considered and signed in the same seven-day period".

"Many of these bills are complex and require me to undertake a detail analysis of their constitutional implications. Some may require the seeking of legal advice and others consultation with the Council of State."

He said he was concerned about a "pattern that has emerged in recent years".

A spokesperson for the President confirmed that a letter had been sent and it concerned the "legislative process".

A copy of the letter was sent to the Department of the Taoiseach.

A meeting has been convened of the Oireachtas Business Committees to discuss the concerns expressed by President Higgins.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Mark Daly have responded to the President's letter saying they understand and appreciate his concerns.

A cross-party group of TDs and senators from the Dáil Business Committee and the Seanad Parliamentary Procedures Committee will meet at 2pm tomorrow to discuss how the ordering of business can be addressed from September.

A Government spokesperson said: "The Government representatives will engage with colleagues from across the Oireachtas at tomorrow's meeting of the business committee to consider this correspondence.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has created significant challenges at certain periods during the past 12 months where there has been disruption to the business of the Oireachtas affecting the legislative process.

"It is in everyone's interest to have a smooth running legislative process particularly with legislation that deals with housing, climate action and Covid, for example."

Labour TD Duncan Smith said: "I welcome the President's intervention and look forward to discussing this in detail tomorrow."

Social Democrats TD Cian O'Callaghan commented: "It really shouldn't take an intervention from the President for the government to realise that ramming through legislation at the last minute, using the guillotine, not allowing time for debate, scrutiny and amendments is no way to treat the democratic process."