FINE GAEL is confident that the daughter of former junior minister Shane McEntee will run in the by-election caused by her father's death.
Sources said Helen McEntee is almost certain to contest her late father's seat, and revealed that Friday, April 19 is tipped as polling day in Meath East.
Under new laws, the by-election must be held by the end of June, but it is expected to come before that.
The Dail will rise for Easter on March 28 and will not return until Wednesday, April 17, with sources saying polling day could be two days later.
Ms McEntee, who worked for her father in the Dail and who is in her mid-twenties, has been mentioned as a possible runner in recent weeks, but Fine Gael was anxious not to push her.
However, party insiders are increasingly confident she will be their candidate. A local source said: "There's really only one person people are talking about."
Fianna Fail has select-ed Senator Thomas Byrne as its candidate, and the contest is widely seen as a two-horse race between his party and Fine Gael. Labour has yet to select a candidate.