FORMER Fianna Fail TD Chris Andrews is being lined up as a shock Sinn Fein candidate in next summer's local elections.
He has formally applied to join the party and has been in "serious discussion" with Sinn Fein bosses about running in the Dublin Bay South constituency.
SF supporters had expected to field former local election candidate and well-known barrister Ruadhan MacAodhain.
However a senior Sinn Fein source told the Herald that Mr MacAodhain is "highly unlikely" to run – leaving the door open for Chris Andrews.
Sources close to Mr Andrews said it made "perfect sense" for him to run for a different party, given his damaged relationship with Fianna Fail.
The 49-year-old caused uproar within his former party when it emerged that he had created a phoney Twitter account to criticise Micheal Martin and other Fianna Fail figures.
Mr Andrews was unveiled as the phantom tweeter by Eddy Carroll, the husband of senior party figure Kathryn Byrne. He had sent over 300 tweets which were highly critical of a number of figures within Fianna Fail.
Mr Carroll used using photo and video surveillance to unmask Mr Andrews, who is the brother of former Children's Minister Barry Andrews.
Chris Andrews went to ground for several weeks but recently confirmed to the Herald that he was looking at running in the general election.
He has spent time in Palestine carrying out aid work and has been becoming more active on a local level in recent months.
A senior Sinn Fein source confirmed this week that Mr Andrew's formally applied to join the party.
"He wants to run, and serious discussions are taking place. At the moment there is no clear cut candidate in that particular area.
"We are keen to have him as he will get votes, but we are aware that his entrance into the party could cause problems," the source said, adding it was "far too early" to say whether Mr Andrews would progress to run as a general election candidate.
Mr Andrews was unavailable for comment.