OMBUDSMAN Emily O'Reilly has announced that she is running for the position of European Ombudsman and is canvassing MEPs for their support.
Ms O'Reilly needs the backing of 40 MEPs from at least two different European countries to become a candidate for the post.
The position is not in the gift of European governments or the EU executive, but is elected by the European Parliament at a session in Strasbourg in July.
Ms O'Reilly is in Strasbourg this week canvassing for support, and says she is getting a "good response". If she secures the backing of 40 MEPs, she will enter the contest proper.
Ms O'Reilly, who has been Ombudsman since 2003, said she had spoken to the secretaries general in the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of the Tanaiste about her plans.