Outgoing farmers' leader John Bryan is set to contest the European elections in May as a Fine Gael candidate. Mr Bryan is expected to announce shortly that he intends to seek a nomination to run for Fine Gael in the new South constituency.
The four-seat constituency includes all of Munster along with the Leinster counties of Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny and Wicklow.
The sitting Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly, who will be running for re-election, is based in Kerry while Mr Bryan lives at the other end of the constituency in Inistioge, Co Kilkenny. Fine Gael may also run a candidate from Cork with speculation that Senator Deirdre Clune will seek a nomination.
Mr Bryan’s term as president of the Irish Farmers’ Association will formally come to an end next Tuesday.
Former IFA presidents have an impressive record in getting elected. TJ Maher was an Independent MEP for Munster, as was Paddy Lane for Fianna Fáil while Alan Gillis was a Fine Gael MEP for Leinster.
Former Fianna Fáil minister Mary Hanafin has ruled out running in Dublin. She had considered seeking a nomination but the former Dún Laoghaire TD said yesterday she was "not persuaded that Europe is where I want to be."
She said she would remain involved in her constituency. “There are many challenges facing people in this country and I want to be where I can best use my experience to address them,” she said.
Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power also confirmed yesterday that she would not be seeking the Dublin nomination.