The expected readmittance of Marc MacSharry into the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party tonight has failed to happen.

It is understood that Fianna Fáil TDs, MEPs and Senators were informed tonight that an issue had arisen, and accordingly, the Party Whip was not in a position to bring the relevant motion to members.

It is believed the TDs, Senators, and MEPs were informed the leadership hoped to revisit the issue, but no timetable was given.

This evening Mr MacSharry said: "I am not commenting at this time."

Last week, journalists were told that a motion would be formally tabled by the Party Whip to propose his re-admission.

It followed an unopposed motion calling for his return two weeks ago, and the Taoiseach subsequently holding talks with the Sligo-Leitrim deputy.

The nature of the issue preventing Mr MacSharry's return tonight has yet to be disclosed.

He resigned from the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party and became an Independent TD in September of last year.

In his resignation letter, he asserted 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 subsequent Dáil votes.

He has long been an outspoken critic of Taoiseach Micheál Martin, arguing the party was being damaged by his leadership.

However, he never resigned his Fianna Fáil membership and attended the recent party Ard Fheis in Dublin, declaring that his return was inevitable.

He has yet to explain why he is returning to the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party when Mr Martin remains leader.