The Fianna Fáil parliamentary party has cleared the way to re-admit Sligo-Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry, an outspoken critic of Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

The move was proposed by deputy Barry Cowen last night, seconded by Senator Diarmuid Wilson and there was no counter-motion.

A senior Fianna Fáil source told RTÉ News that the meeting concluded with the Taoiseach saying he would discuss the matter further with Mr MacSharry.

The Sligo-Leitrim TD resigned from the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party and became an Independent TD in September of last year, asserting that Fianna Fáil's positioning and policy were being determined in a fashion consistent with an "undemocratic totalitarian regime".

While he went on to vote no confidence in Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney, Mr MacSharry very often supported the coalition Government in Dáil votes.

While Fianna Fáil TDs, senators and MEPs have now cleared the way for his return, it is unclear when the process will be finalised.

One Fianna Fáil parliamentary party member, speaking in confidence to RTÉ News, said that other politicians, in similar circumstances, had not been obliged to either talk to the party leader or write a letter requesting to return.

They contended that such interventions were not contained in the parliamentary party rules either.

Mr MacSharry did not comment last night on foot of the parliamentary party meeting.

However, in his letter to the party last year he wrote: "I was elected to serve a democratic republic, not one which applies different rules and sanctions depending on the identity or the position of people involved."

Mr MacSharry has long been an outspoken critic of Mr Martin, arguing the party was being damaged by his leadership.