Hayes and Childers confirm EU candidacy

Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes

Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes and Independent Nessa Childers have both confirmed their bids for election to the European Parliament in May.

Both will contest the three-seat Dublin constituency, with Fine Gael's Hayes widely expected to retain the seat held by Gay Mitchell.

The minister - who had been tipped for a cabinet job in a reshuffle later this year, says he intends to serve a full five-year term if elected.

And he says he'll give back his ministerial pay cheque if he wins the party nomination.

"I've spoken to the Taoiseach, he fully agrees with my decision," Mr Hayes said.

"It is my decision and I want to thank him for his support in coming to this decision.

"I also very much support his decision that I should remain a minister between now and the election.

"Obviously when the campaign kicks off in earnest I won't claim a salary, because that's the right thing to do."

Fine Gael sources have previously been reported as saying that Mr Hayes was attracted by the idea of running for the MEP slot because he did not expect to be elevated to full cabinet rank by Enda Kenny in next year’s reshuffle.

Mr Hayes was a key figure in the heave of 2010 which nearly ousted Mr Kenny from the party leadership.

Meanwhile Independent MEP Nessa Childers said it was a tough decision to choose to run in Dublin instead of the newly drawn Dublin South constituency, but says it's a better option for an Independent without access to finances and the backing of a major party.

"The resources for running in the South campaign - I didn't feel they were there," she said.

"It was a very difficult decision - down to the wire."

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