Donegal SW by-election could be pushed back to Autumn

The decision of George Lee to resign his Dail seat and leave Fine Gael may further delay the long awaited by election in Donegal.

A by election will also be required in Dublin South, and it's now believed the government will now abandon plans for an early summer poll in Donegal South West, and run both in the autumn instead.

Up until this week, there was a widespread belief that June would be the day on which Pat The Cope Gallagher's successor would be chosen, but now there's growing speculation around Leinster House that some day in October will be the date for the By-Elections in Donegal South West and Dublin South, with the Dublin Mayoral election, and possibly a children's referendum taking place on the same day.

This has led to an angry response from Sinn Fein in Donegal, who say the South West constituency has been without representation for eight months, and to wait another eight months would be totally unacceptable.

The party has called on the government to move the writ for the Donegal South West poll on a number of occasions, and now, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has joined that debate, saying if the government won't move the writ, he will.