Varadkar plots Dáil by-elections in November
The Government is set to hold four post-Brexit by-elections to fill the Dáil seats vacated by newly elected MEPs.
While no date has been decided, Fine Gael figures have signalled that the four polls will take place in late November. "The Taoiseach needs to speak to the Opposition but it will be this year not early January," a senior Fine Gael source said.
The by-elections need to take place before the end of January after the election to the European Parliament of Frances Fitzgerald (FG), Clare Daly (Independents 4 Change), Billy Kelleher (Fianna Fáil) and Mick Wallace (I4C) in May created Dáil vacancies in Dublin Mid-West, Dublin Fingal, Cork North-Central and Wexford respectively.
Fine Gael ramped up preparations this week with the selection of Irish Road Haulage Association president Verona Murphy to run in Wexford and senator Colm Burke in Cork North-Central. Former health minister James Reilly is tipped to run in Fingal with Councillor Emer Higgins likely to be the party candidate in Ms Fitzgerald's former constituency.
Speaking at the Fine Gael think-in on Thursday, Leo Varadkar said his party should aim to win one seat.
Fianna Fáil is also finalising its plans with councillor Malcolm Byrne to run in Wexford, senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee in Fingal and Councillor Padraig O'Sullivan to run in Cork North-Central. A senior Fianna Fáil source predicted that the party will win only one of the four seats.