The main political parties have been accused of stymieing the process around the upcoming Presidential election.

Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour have all decided to support current President Michael D Higgins in his bid for a second term in Áras an Uachtarain.

Sinn Féin have said they will nominate a candidate next month for the election.

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has said as a result it is incumbent upon Independent TDs to facilitate the running of a candidate.

Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland, Mr Fitzmaurice explained that he wants to convince his fellow independent TDs and Senators to come together to nominate someone to contest the presidency.

However, he said this did not mean they had to endorse or canvass for a particular candidate.

A number of independent candidates have announced their intention to seek a nomination including journalist Gemma O’Doherty, senator Joan Freeman, businessman Gavin Duffy, artist Kevin Sharkey and retired Aer Lingus employee Patrick Feeney.

Mr Fitzmaurice said the process was very tough for those who are expressing an interest in running.

He asked: "are the independents going to step up to the mark or are we going to sit on our hands and leave somebody driving around Ireland and not facilitating the process?"

He added: "we talk about new politics, we talk about new ways of working together and this is an opportunity to show what independents can do compared with the way the parties have stymied the whole system."

Mr Fitzmaurice said he wants non-party members of the Oireachtas to meet soon to nominate a candidate.

The Roscommon-Galway TD said yesterday that he had received replies from a group of 19 TDs and senators indicating they were willing to do so.