Leo Varadkar suggests holding four pre-Christmas byelections

Four Dáil vacancies created following European Parliament elections

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has privately suggested that four Dáil byelections could be held in the run up to Christmas.

The writs for the polls needed to fill the vacancies created by the election of TDs Frances Fitzgerald, Billy Kelleher, Mick Wallace and Clare Daly to the European Parliament must be moved by January 2nd.

However, Mr Varadkar told his ministers it is unlikely that the writs will moved immediately after Christmas and suggested the move could instead be made in November or December this year. He made the comments to his Ministers at the weekly Fine Gael pre-cabinet meeting

Such a timetable would "potentially" see the byelections in Dublin Mid West, Cork North Central, Wexford and Dublin Fingal held in the run up to Christmas, a government source said.