Former minister Mary Hanafin intends to run in 2016 General Election
The gloves are off for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Fianna Fail councillors Mary Hanafin and Cormac Devlin who are both looking for the party nomination to run in the 2016 General Election.
The Fianna Fail selection convention for the Dun Laoghaire constituency is to be held some time before the party Ard Fheis on April 24.
Long-term councillor Cormac Devlin announced his bid for the nomination to contest the election at a lunch last Sunday attended by party stalwarts.
Now former education minister Mary Hanafin - who lost her parliamentary seat in the 2011 election - has confirmed that she too would be seeking the nomination.
Ms Hanafin ran in the local election last year, beating running mate Kate Feeney in what was dubbed the 'Battle of Blackrock'.
Cllr Hanafin has her eye on returning to national politics and will be seeking the Fianna Fail nomination.
"Yes, I'm formally declaring my intention to seek the nomination. With my vote in the local elections last year it certainly gave me the encouragement to re-enter the fray," she told the Herald.
While it has always been thought that the former education minister's main Fianna Fail competition in the constituency would be her local election rival, Kate Feeney, Cllr Feeney has not yet declared her position.
"I'm thinking about it at the moment," Cllr Feeney said. "I've been approached by members of the party in the Dun Laoghaire constituency encouraging me to put my name forward."
She said she would make up her mind in a couple of weeks.
Cllr Devlin (34) announced his bid saying he was "challenging" Cllr Hanafin who he said is not a shoo-in for the party's nomination.
"It's going to be a rigorous campaign," he said.