Executive to finalise contest ground rules as hustings start
Dublin, Carlow town, Ballinasloe in Co Galway and Cork will be the locations for the hustings battles between Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney next week.
Fine Gael's National Executive met last night in a bid to finalise the logistics and ground rules for the leadership contest.
The party is to hold four hustings on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday next week, beginning with one in Dublin.
The final event will be staged in Co Cork on May 28.
A four-member ethics committee will be empowered by the executive to act as a referee to ensure that all campaigns comply with the party's code of conduct, which candidates will be required to sign up to.
It is understood that Fine Gael general secretary Tom Curran and chairman Martin Heydon are two of the members of the committee.
Under the party's electoral college system, TDs and senators are apportioned a 65pc weighting in the vote, councillors have 10pc and rank-and-file members have 25pc.
Voting for the party's councillors and broader membership will take place from Monday, May 29, to Thursday, June 1, at around 25 rolling polling places around the country.
TDs and senators will vote on Friday, June 2.
The goal is for the votes to be counted and the new leader to be announced in time for 6pm news bulletins that day.