FIANNA Fail MEP Brian Crowley threw his hat into the ring for the presidency yesterday telling party colleagues he was available to run for the Aras.
Mr Crowley is currently in hospital undergoing an operation on his knee. Former minister Eamon O Cuiv has also expressed an interest in being the party's candidate.
Fianna Fail will decide next month whether to run a candidate. If it does, there is now a prospect of a candidate selection contest between Mr O Cuiv and Mr Crowley.
Mr Crowley is personally urging the party to have a candidate in October's presidential election. The Ireland South MEP wrote to the party's TDs and senators setting out his position.
The poll-topping MEP's profile has been low in recent months because he has been receiving medical treatment for a muscle problem in his right knee.
As he is paralysed, the procedure is complicated and he has had four operations followed by 10-day recuperation periods in bed.
However, the treatment is not life-threatening and Mr Crowley is expected to be back in action next month.
He has indicated he would only run as a Fianna Fail candidate and not as an Independent.
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has set up a committee to look at the feasibility of running a candidate. Also on the committee are Mr O Cuiv, party TDs Sean O Fearghail and Dara Calleary and Senator Darragh O'Brien.
Mr Martin is understood to have been aware of Mr Crowley's intentions since the spring. "It changes nothing from our perspective. The process is unaffected," a party source said.