Hayes to run for Fine Gael in Dublin
Mr Hayes’ expected election as an MEP will prompt a by-election and cause a vacancy in the junior ministerial ranks.
The junior minister is understood to have informed party activists of his intention to run for Europe at a meeting tonight.
Fine Gael approached Mr Hayes last autumn to run for Europe, as revealed in the Sunday Independent.
Mr Hayes was first elected as a TD in 1997, lost his seat in the 2002 meltdown, became Fine Gael leader in the Seanad and returned to the Dail in 2007.
He sided with Richard Bruton in the Fine Gael leadership heave of 2010.
Fionnan Sheahan and Niall O’Connor