Independent TD is told to 'mind his own business' in election row
Attempts to find a consensus candidate who would get 20 Oireachtas nominations for the presidency have been described as "rubbish" by an Independent senator.
Marie-Louise O'Donnell says those trying to force the issue should "mind their own business".
In particular she singled out Michael Fitzmaurice, who has repeatedly written to Independent TDs and senators asking them to come together behind one candidate.
He has suggested they could use the PR system to pick one.
Ms O'Donnell told the Irish Independent: "I was fascinated although not surprised when Michael Fitzmaurice set himself as a kind of an abacus.
"My missile to Michael Fitzmaurice, since he sent so many my way, is mind your own business."
Ms O'Donnell added that if candidates want support they should ask privately "and you'll find out very quickly where you stand".
Mr Fitzmaurice has given Oireachtas members until September 5 to say whether they are interested in working together.
By way of response to the criticism, he asked: "Has she listened to what I said? If anyone thinks of a better way, I'm open to it."
He said some Independent colleagues needed to "cop on": "It's a great opportunity to show new politics to the big parties."