Mary Mitchell O'Connor giving 'serious thought' to running in European election

Mary Mitchell O'Connor giving 'serious thought' to running in European election
Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O'Connor

Minister of state for higher education Mary Mitchell O'Connor has thrown her hat into the MEP elections ring, saying she is giving "serious thought" to running in May's European elections.

Fine Gael TD Ms Mitchell O'Connor joined former tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and senator Catherine Noone in hinting at a potential interest in running in recent weeks with just four months to go before the vote.

Asked on RTE Radio's Drivetime programme on Friday evening if she has any interest in heading to Brussels, Ms Mitchell O'Connor said "I have heard my name mentioned and I am giving it serious thought".

She added "I am, of course I am", before saying "I think it's really important that Fine Gael is represented in the EU and that the voice of the Irish people is heard in the EU".

While a senior Fine Gael source said the party will not make a decision on who it will run for a number of weeks, Ms Mitchell O'Connor joins a number of high-profile national politicians who have recently hinted at running for an MEP seat.

They include Fine Gael colleagues Ms Fitzgerald and Ms Noone, Fianna Fáil frontbench TD Billy Kelleher and Fianna Fáil TD and former agriculture minister Brendan Smith.

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