The Fine Gael organisation in Waterford has passed a motion of no confidence in its sitting TD, John Deasy.

The vote was passed unanimously at a constituency meeting in Dungarvan attended by about 60 people, comprising councillors, local election candidates and ordinary party members.

Mr Deasy was not at the meeting which was called to discuss the party's recent performance in the local elections.

Fine Gael's national executive will now be notified of the vote, while the local membership are also looking for a meeting with the party's general secretary and chair of its national executive.

One senior member present at the meeting said that Mr Deasy, who has held a seat in Waterford for Fine Gael since 2002, "came in for severe and sustained criticism" from those present, and that none spoke in support of the backbencher.

"Speaker after speaker came out strongly against John Deasy and his workrate as sitting Fine Gael TD," the member said.

A motion of no confidence was proposed by one member - not an elected representative - and seconded before being passed overwhelmingly by the meeting which was held in Lawlor's Hotel in Dungarvan.

Mr Deasy was appointed special envoy to the United States, to work for undocumented Irish emigrants, by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in 2017.

He recently attended a dinner in Doonbeg Golf Club which was hosted by US President Donald Trump during the president's visit to Ireland.

However, he did not put his name forward to stand at the next general election when Fine Gael held its selection convention in November of 2017, at a moment when an election seemed imminent.

He was recovering from hip surgery at the time and the party decided to run Senator Paudie Coffey as a single candidate.

Mr Coffey won a Dáil seat, alongside John Deasy, in the 2011 General Election and was a minister of state during the subsequent Dáil term but lost his seat in 2016. 

It has been unclear if Mr Deasy hoped to be added to the Waterford ticket by party headquarters before the next national election.

Attempts to contact him tonight for comment were unsuccessful.