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Brian Hayes Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
Mulling it over

Will Brian Hayes run for Europe? 'I haven't made my mind up yet,' he says

The junior minister is interested in running for the European Parliament but he said today that he has to “weight up” all his options.

JUNIOR MINISTER BRIAN Hayes has said that he hasn’t yet made his mind up on whether or not he will seek the Fine Gael nomination to contest next year’s European elections in Dublin.

Hayes has openly acknowledged his interest in running to replace Gay Mitchell who is standing down as an MEP next year. Although he has been coy on whether or not he will seek the nomination  the Minister of State said today he is “looking at all the options at the moment”.

Speaking to Today with Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning, Hayes said: “I’ll have to wait and see, I’m obviously looking at all the options at the moment.”

“What I said at the time when this issue was put to me is that there is a collective responsibility within our party to produce a candidate or candidates to try to replace Gay Mitchell who’s been an outstanding MEP. I haven’t made my mind up on that issue yet.”

Hayes is one a number of candidates who has been approached about running in Dublin and has told colleagues he is actively considering it.

The selection of Hayes would be popular among the grassroots Fine Gael members in many parts of Dublin. Even expelled TD Lucinda Creighton has indicated she would support Hayes’s bid for Europe.

But Fine Gael HQ may have concerns about the by-election his departure would create in Dublin South West which Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin would relish.

Speaking today, Hayes added that he is “doing the job that I want to do at the moment”.

“It’s the job that I’ve always wanted to do, working with Michael Noonan in the Department of Finance, and I am going to have to weigh up all those options but it’s not the time to make that decision yet,” he added.

More: Hayes says ‘wait and see’ on Euro election run but Norah Casey insists: ‘I’m out’

Read: Dublin a three-seater in Ireland’s new-look European constituency map

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