A STRING of contenders are vying for the Fine Gael nomination in the upcoming by-election to fill the Dail seat of former junior minister Shane McEntee.
Despite strong indications that Mr McEntee's daughter Helen is likely to be the party's candidate in Meath East, a number of councillors are putting their names forward.
However, a number of these say they will withdraw if Ms McEntee wants to run.
It comes as bookmaker Paddy Power slashed the odds on Fine Gael winning the seat as expectations that Ms McEntee will run firm up.
The odds on Fine Gael holding the seat dropped from 5/1 to 5/4 following reports Ms McEntee is strongly tipped to run. But Fianna Fail senator Thomas Byrne remains the favourite.
A new Junior Agriculture Minister to replace Mr McEntee is also expected soon, with Meath West TD Damien English a favourtie for the role.