Elections to be held in late May
THE Government has confirmed that the local and European elections will take place on Friday, May 23.
Speaking in the Dail, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said the date was chosen collectively by the Cabinet.
The elections are among the most difficult to predict in years as a result of a series of radical boundary changes.
Dozens of selections are still scheduled to take place over the coming weeks.
The election will be seen as critical for both Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore.
Labour is braced to lose dozens of council seats and its two sitting MEPs.
Mr Gilmore opted to appoint deputy leader Joan Burton as campaign director in what was seen as a calculated move given the tensions that have existed between the pair in the past.
The election results will measure whether Fianna Fail has managed to make a real comeback under Mr Martin's leadership.
On Sunday, the party will hold its European selection convention for Dublin.