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Hayes: ‘Some people think the European Parliament is some kind of Outer Mongolia'

Junior finance minister Brian Hayes has not ruled out a return to domestic politics as he announced his intention to run for the European Parliament this morning.

FINE GAEL JUNIOR Minister Brian Hayes has confirmed he intends to seek his party’s nomination to run for the European Parliament in Dublin later this year.

The Dublin South West deputy said that he feels a “responsibility” to retain to retain the seat currently held by Gay Mitchell who is stepping down in May. Hayes’s decision brings an need to long-running speculation that he would seek the nomination.

“I love Fine Gael, I joined the party not because my mother or father was a member or a TD but because I believe in what the party stands for,” he said at a media gathering outside Leinster House this morning.

Though he said that he intends to serve a full five-year term if he is elected in May, he would not rule out the possibility of returning to domestic politics before the end of the term.

“My intention is to serve the five years. I don’t see a scenario where I will be standing in the next election, but who knows,” he said adding “who knows what’s going to happen in the future”.

Hayes is currently a Minister of State at the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform with responsibility for the Office of Public Works. He said he will remain in these positions, but not draw a salary during the campaign.

Only if Hayes is elected to the European Parliament will he be required to vacate his Dáil seat, triggering a by-election in the constituency where he has been a TD since 2007 having previously lost his seat in 2002.

The 44-year-old also praised party leader and Taoiseach Enda Kenny saying “he gave me the best possible Minister of State job going”.

He dismissed suggestions his European bid was influenced by the perception he would not be appointed to Cabinet having been part of an attempted heave against Kenny in 2010.

“I think some people think that the European Parliament in Brussels is some kind of outer Mongolia,” he said.

Read: Junior Minister Brian Hayes is running for Europe

Read: Nessa Childers will run in Dublin in effort to retain European Parliament seat

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Hugh O'Connell

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