Nessa Childers has resigned from the Labour Parliamentary Party.
In a statement, the MEP for Leinster says she has taken the decision in order to join fellow Labour members in opposition to campaign for the party's policies.
Former Junior Health Minister Róisín Shortall, Colm Keaveney, Tommy Broughan and Patrick Nulty have all left Labour, while Willie Penrose has reapplied for membership after leaving in 2011.
Childers says she has been dismayed by recent statements by Labour Party Ministers and can no longer lend her support to a government that she feels is hurting people with "harmful policies".
She says senior members of Labour have led the party to an impasse and its leadership appears to be more comfortable with policies that protect the more privileged in Irish society.
Childers announced her decision via her Twitter account.
Meanwhile, this is how Nulty, who also left the party in similar circumstances, reacted
“I entered politics to help people, and am now resigning from the PLP because I no longer want to support a government that is actually hurting people.
“It is predicted that Ireland will have to experience tight budgets for the foreseeable future, long after we exit the bail-out programme. My question is will this Government continue with business as usual and ignore the lack of fairness across government policy.
“My dissatisfaction with the party in government has been known for some time; however recent statements from the Labour Ministers have dismayed me. They continue to insist that because of the dire economic situation there is no alternative to current government policies.
“The government is implementing harmful conservative policies. Senior Labour people appear to refuse to discuss or acknowledge recent research that shows that the greatest impact of financial distress has been seen in the lower income households in Ireland, and that the austerity agenda is not improving the real economy lived and experienced by ordinary people.
“I think there is a possibility that we could see a group of people coming together to take up the ideas and values of Labour – leaving the party and its members hostage to a leadership that appears to be more comfortable with policies that protect the more privileged in Irish society.
“The party leadership’s strategy of attacking people who are loyal to the party’s stated policies; coupled with their objection to a special party conference and objection to renegotiating the Programme for Government signals that they is completely cut off from the concerns of the party members and Labour party ideals and values.
“Senior members of the party have led the PLP to an impasse. How long will TDs and Senators continue along this path, before they reach the point of no return.”
Childers spoke to KFM after announcing her plans to resign.