The Irish-American who had been tipped by US President Donald Trump to be the next US Ambassador to Ireland has withdrawn his name from consideration.
Brian P Burns, based in Florida, informed Mr Trump that due to ill health he was no longer in a position to serve as ambassador.
In a statement to RTÉ News, Mr Burns' spokesperson said he had suffered "a bad fall a few weeks ago", and is currently preparing to have "a second back surgery in the lumbar area of his spine".
He hopes to make a full recovery by the end of the summer.
Mr Burns said he wished to thank President Trump for the "great honour of being considered to be US Ambassador to his beloved Ireland".
He received a letter from Mr Trump yesterday acknowledging his decision and thanking the Irish American for his ongoing support.
There is currently no US Ambassador to Ireland. The previous office holder Kevin O'Malley's term came to an end in January when president Barack Obama's term of office also ended.
Mr Burns had not yet been formally nominated by President Trump but the men had reached an agreement that Mr Burns was the President's pick for the role.
Aged 81, a Massachusetts native, Mr Burns traces his Irish ancestry to Co Kerry.