Former Fine Gael TD Kate O'Connell has confirmed that she will not be running in the forthcoming Dublin Bay South by-election and has accused some party members of running personalised attacks to remove her.

Ms O'Connell told RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne that she does not appear to have the support of the party leadership and appears not to be "the desired candidate for Fine Gael in the Dublin South by-election".

She said that following the resignation of former TD Eoghan Murphy she decided she would "attempt to run" and made clear her decision to go forward for selection through available channels.

She said that there was "a movement towards the replacement of me with someone else" by a faction in the party that is very hard to combat and that she had not anticipated.

Ms O'Connell said that despite losing out by less than 1,000 votes in the last election in the constituency, she has had no engagement from the party leadership in the aftermath of the Seanad campaign.

She said she has no problem with party leader Leo Varadkar and had fully supported him after his election as party leader.

She said that she put her heart and soul into representing the party, despite her criticisms of Mr Varadkar on occasion.

Ms O'Connell said over the years she has faced personalised commentary and attacks on her and thinks there was a "pushback" against her to replace her.

At one Fine Gael meeting, she said, her team arrived before her and someone had got a sod of turf and was going to present it to her in front of people at the meeting.

She said that was "designed to diminish" and tell her she was "not from here" but from the country.

She said a sign was also erected outside her pharmacy pointing towards the M50 saying "Westmeath this way".

Ms O'Connell said attempts were made to label her as "undesirable, unsuitable and not good enough".

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Dublin Bay South Fianna Fáil TD Jim O'Callaghan said that on a personal level he is disappointed that Ms O'Connell will not be running, but that Fine Gael has done his party candidates a great favour by not putting the former TD forward for election.

Speaking on the same programme, Mr O'Callaghan said that as his party's Director of Elections for the campaign, he is "'very pleased we won't be facing such a popular and competitive candidate in the by-election".

He said the decision will be good news for the two Fianna Fáil councillors in the constituency, Claire O'Connor and Deirdre Conroy, who are going forward for selection.

Mr O'Callaghan said that Fianna Fáil will put in a very "vigorous and strong" campaign.

Damien English, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail and Fine Gael TD for Meath West said he was disappointed Ms O' Connell is not running.

"I thought she had a chance of winning so it is a pity," Mr English said.

He said he believes both James Geoghegan and Kate O' Connell had equal support from the party to run as candidates.

Róisín Shortall, Co-Leader of the Social Democrats, said Ms O'Connell was the obvious candidate to go with as she was "a past TD and very capable".

"It seems like an incredible decision by the leadership of Fine Gael. It is a numbers game. Kate is nobody's fool and she could see exactly what was happening."