Battlelines drawn in bid to replace Dara Murphy
A battle between former MEP Colm Burke and Cork-based barrister Julie O'Leary to replace Dara Murphy is under way.
The Cork North Central TD announced last week he would not be seeking re-election. He was bitterly disappointed when he was replaced as European affairs minister after Leo Varadkar became Taoiseach.
Ms O'Leary narrowly missed out on a seat when she ran alongside Mr Murphy in 2016.
Mr Burke took over as MEP for the south constituency when Simon Coveney took a Dáil seat in 2007.
He failed to retain the seat at the next European election with his party colleague Seán Kelly taking it instead.
Mr Murphy also pipped Mr Burke to the post at the selection convention in 2016, but the party then added Ms O'Leary in a bid to try to win two seats.
Mr Murphy said: "This was a most interesting and challenging time, particularly with Brexit. I am very grateful for your immense support throughout this period".