Six candidates to watch . . .
Glenna Lynch (Social Democrats) Dublin Bay South - The south Dublin businesswoman shot into the public eye during the tempestuous 2011 presidential election campaign when she tangled with then-frontrunner Sean Gallagher on television and over the airwaves.
The interior designer lives in the middle of the constituency, rather than in the crowded Pembroke-South Dock end of Dublin Bay South. She's articulate and forthright, so expect some ding-dongs between Glenna and Renua's Lucinda Creighton.
Fiona McLoughlin Healy (Fine Gael) Kildare South
The Newbridge-based councillor was added to the Fine Gael ticket alongside sitting TD Martin Heydon, but isn't simply making up badly needed female numbers for the party. A law and politics graduate from NUIG, she also qualified as a nurse. Ms McLoughlin Healy started a number of websites and is a regular panellist onTV3's 'Midday'. The Newbridge-based mother of three also established a healthy eating programme for crèches.
Louise O'Reilly (Sinn Féin) Dublin Fingal
The trade union official was something of a surprise choice as a candidate for this sprawling new five-seater constituency, particularly given that she lives in Crumlin. However, with two Fine Gael TDs, one Labour deputy and Clare Daly of the United Left all running again, the full-time SIPTU organiser and also Fianna Fáil's Darragh O'Brien are serious contenders with an extra seat up for grabs. Sinn Féin had a bumper local election in Fingal, scooping six seats.
Margaret Murphy-O'Mahony (Fianna Fáil) Cork South-West
The Bandon councillor fought a tough battle against Gillian Coughlan for the nomination. Three male candidates - Senator Denis O'Donovan and councillors Alan Coleman and Patrick Gerard Murphy - withdrew before the convention, with Mr Coleman later declaring he will run as an Independent candidate in the three-seater. Margaret was elected to the council in 2004 and 2009, topping the poll both times. She was also Bandon's first female mayor.
Adrienne Wallace (PBPA) Carlow
The 25-year old People Before Profit candidate had an impressive outing in the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election last May, garnering 2,377 first-preference votes. She has been a vocal anti-water charges campaigner, which will ensure her a high profile on the hustings when the election is called, given the continuing focus on the contentious issue.
Ann Norton (Independent) Clare
The disability advocate is co-founder and manager of the Clare Crusaders Children's Clinic in Ennis. The county councillor from Barefield, Ennis, has worked in the area of disability for many years, campaigning on issues such as a lack of services and frontline care. She recently declined an invitation from TD Shane Ross to join his Independent Alliance, saying that she wanted to run as "a full Independent candidate".