The Fine Gael Executive Council has decided to deselect Verona Murphy as a candidate for the Wexford constituency in the next general election.

Ministers Michael D'Arcy and Paul Kehoe are the selected candidates for the constituency.

At the same meeting, it was decided to add Councillor Karen Coakley to the Fine Gael ticket for the Cork South-West constituency.

Cllr Coakley joins Senator Tim Lombard in contesting the next general election.

It follows the announcement by Minister of State Jim Daly that he would not seek re-election.

Ms Murphy earlier confirmed to RTÉ News that she was to be deselected as an election candidate by Fine Gael.

She said she is going to take a break from politics over Christmas and will assess her options in the New Year.

Ms Murphy was a Fine Gael candidate in the recent Wexford by-election.

Earlier today, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, who is also the party's Director of Elections, declined to confirm reports that he spoken to Ms Murphy over the phone last night and informed her she would be deselected. 

However Ms Murphy, the high profile President of the Road Haulage Association, did confirm to RTÉ News that she was going to be deselected.

Fine Gael's Executive Council met this evening to consider a recommendation from Leo Varadkar, the party's President, about general election candidates in the Wexford constituency.

Ms Murphy ran a controversial campaign in the recent Wexford by-election, during which she apologised after claiming that some asylum seekers coming to Ireland have to be "deprogrammed" as they "carry angst" and may have been "infiltrated by ISIS".

Ms Murphy said her remarks on RTÉ's This Week programme were "a very poor choice of words and I am very sorry to anyone who was offended by them". 

Ms Murphy also ran a final campaign video which Mr Varadkar said he had a 'big problem' with.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach said he fears that Ms Murphy's comments may resonate with a fraction of the population.

Speaking in an interview on Virgin Media Television, Mr Varadkar said he believed the video showed that her apology for the remarks was not sincere.

Additional reporting David Murphy