The Taoiseach has said he appreciates that this is a "very difficult time" for Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey, and that it is "never a nice thing to be deselected" as an election candidate.

Last night Leo Varadkar, who is also the Fine Gael Party President, recommended to the national executive that Ms Bailey be deselected and replaced by a local councillor - a recommendation which was endorsed.

Speaking at the British-Irish Council press conference in Farmleigh, Mr Varadkar said one of the things he said he would do if he became leader of Fine Gael is to democratise the party and "listen to our members more".

He said that, on this occasion, Fine Gael members in Dún Laoghaire asked the party to review the ticket.

He said he cannot predict what action Deputy Bailey may or may not take now.

Ms Bailey has been in political difficulty since it emerged that she had taken a personal injuries case against a Dublin hotel after falling off a swing.

In a statement last night, Ms Bailey said she had worked hard to rebuild her reputation, but what she termed anonymous sources kept trying to reignite the swing story.

Ms Bailey also said she would continue to fulfill her role as a public representative and, it is understood, is entitled to remain a member of the Fine Gael parliamentary party.

Meanwhile, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has insisted that Ms Bailey's deselection was a democratic decision.

He said that decision was made after Ms Bailey made a presentation before the Executive Council last night and came on foot of a proposal from the party leader.

Read more:
Maria Bailey deselected as Fine Gael election candidate
Pressure on Bailey as local FG members call for review of election candidates
Bailey legal case caused reputational damage to party - Varadkar