Former Fine Gael TD Kate O'Connell has said a text message circulating claiming to be from her and encouraging supporters to vote for Labour candidate Ivana Bacik in the Dublin Bay South byelection is a “sinister hoax”.
In a Twitter post, Ms O'Connell said she had “become aware” of a “fake message circulating to people, alleging to be from me, or from someone to do with me”.
She said she is “shocked” and “disturbed” by the fake message.
Photos of the text emerged on social media, the message encouraged members of Fine Gael in Dublin Bay South and neighbouring areas, as well as “supporters and friends of Kate O’Connell” to give their vote to female candidates in the byelection.
The text message suggested an order in which constituents should vote for the female candidates standing in the byelection, adding that Dublin Bay South “needs a vibrant female voice”.
Ms O'Connell said she would be contacting gardaí about the message.
“Whoever is behind it is clearly acting out of desperation,” her Twitter post said.
In May, Ms O'Connell said she would not seek her party's nomination for the Dublin Bay South byelection, claiming there was a faction in the party which did not want her to return.
“There has been a faction, I would feel, within the party since the leadership campaign which I thought had long gone out with the tide, who have long planned the exit of myself,” she told Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio.
Voting in the Dublin Bay South byelection is set to begin on Thursday morning.
Polls will open at 7am and close at 10.30pm, before the count begins on Friday.
It follows weeks of campaigning in the race to succeed ex-Fine Gael Minister Eoghan Murphy in the constituency.
Labour Senator Ivan Bacik has become the frontrunner for the vacant seat, and is now the bookies favourite at 2/5.
Fine Gael Councillor James Geoghegan was the early favourite but has slipped back to 2/1.
Senator and former MEP Lynn Boylan has been chosen as the Sinn Féin candidate is the outside bet at 7/1, according to bookmakers Paddy Power.
The housing crisis has become the major battle ground in the contest.