A senior Fianna Fail senator has criticised what he called the "gross perversion of the party's democratic process" after he lost an internal election to become the chair of the Seanad.
The role comes with a €46,019 top-up which brings the holder of the office's salary to €114,130.
Cavan-based Senator Diarmuid Wilson sent a highly critical letter to Taoiseach Micheal Martin after he was "cheated out of holding high constitutional office" when the position was awarded to his Seanad colleague Mark Daly.
"I am asking you, as Uachtaran Fianna Fail, to publicly acknowledge the grievous wrong that was done to me by this ham-fisted and inappropriate interference and change in the decision made by the Fianna Fail senators," he said.
In his three-page letter, Mr Wilson said he was deemed winner when the votes of the three candidates were first counted for the Seanad Cathaoirleach role on June 29.
On the first count Mr Daly received eight votes while Mr Wilson and the third candidate Denis O'Donovan each received six. Mr Wilson said it was then agreed the votes of all three senators should be examined to see if he or Mr O'Donovan had placed second or third when second preferences were counted.
When the ballots were reviewed it showed Mr O'Donovan finished third and his six votes were distributed to the remaining candidates. Mr Wilson received five and Mr Daly got one, meaning the Cavan senator would have won by 11 votes to nine. This count was in line with rules set out in the Seanad Electoral Act, according to Mr Wilson.
However, the counting process was queried by Mr Daly's representative and Fianna Fail headquarters was contacted for advice.
It was then decided that the vote should be recounted under the rules of the Electoral Act for general elections.
Under this system, Mr Wilson and Mr O'Donovan's names were put in a hat as they had tied on votes.
Mr Wilson's name was drawn first from the hat which meant he was eliminated and his six votes were distributed between the remaining candidates. This resulted in Mr Daly now winning by 11 votes to Mr O'Donovan's nine.
"The principle relied upon in issuing the direction to the returning officer that the electoral process should be conducted as though it were a count for a Dail general election has never been explained or understood," Mr Wilson said. The senator said for small proportional representation votes the custom and practice is to follow the Seanad counting system.
"It was only after the result was declared that Mark Daly was the Fianna Fail nominee, and only after his election as Cathaoirleach that I became aware that I had been cheated of the nomination and subsequent election as Cathaoirleach of Seanad Eireann," he added.