FIANNA Fáil is to choose its Ireland South European Parliament candidates on St Patrick's Day weekend, with three Cork nominees in the mix.
Cork North Central TD Billy Kelleher, Carrigaline county councillor Seamus McGrath, and Cork North-West-based member Jason Fitzgerald were all put forward before the close of nominations yesterday evening.
They will now go forward to a selection convention to be held in Clonmel on March 16, where every paid-up party member from the 12 counties in the constituency will be eligible to vote.
The party is expected to choose one candidate from Cork and one from elsewhere in the constituency in an effort to hold retiring MEP Brian Crowley's seat and add one more in the expanded five-seater.
The other nominees are: Wexford councillor Malcolm Byrne, believed to be a frontrunner for a nomination; Kieran Hartley, who ran alongside Mr Crowley in 2014 but was not elected; Kilkenny TD John McGuinness; Offaly councillor Eddie Fitzpatrick; and Kerry Senator Ned O'Sullivan.
Meanwhile, former Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and former SDLP leader Mark Durkan were selected by Fine Gael to run in the Dublin European Parliament constituency last night.