A number of Fine Gael TDs have used a private meeting to criticise their party colleagues for spreading speculation about retirements.
Wexford TD Paul Kehoe launched an attack on his party colleagues for leaking a list of nine TDs who are doubtful to run in the next election.
Kerry TD Brendan Griffin, who was also on the list, has since publicly announced that he will be stepping away from national politics at the next election.
While he did not mention any names, Mr Kehoe — who was also included in the list — was highly critical of “a TD and a senator” who he claimed are briefing about retirements.
It is understood Carlow-Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan agreed with him on this point. However, Mr Phelan did not address speculation that he too is considering his options ahead of any election.
Mr Kehoe told the meeting that he does intend to run in the next election.
It is understood that Bernard Durkan told the meeting that he has not yet made up his mind, but expressed annoyance that his name had been mentioned as someone who might not run in the next general election.
Meanwhile, Sligo TD Frankie Feighan said it is his intention to run.
Separately, senator Garret Ahern was elected vice-chairman of the parliamentary party after he won in a vote against Alan Farrell. The position became vacant after the appointment of Jennifer Carroll MacNeill to a junior minister role.
The Fine Gael meeting also discussed what the priorities in tackling the cost of living crisis should be as discussions continue about future supports for both homes and businesses.
The Taoiseach said one of the decisions which equipped the country well last year was not having a mini-budget in the middle of 2022, as called for by the Opposition, as it resulted in more financial resources available for last autumn’s budget and for the winter when it was most needed.
At the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting, meanwhile, TDs discussed the accommodation crisis facing both refugees and international protection applicants. Party sources said that there were a number of calls for more resources to be given to the Department of Integration to tackle the