Fine Gael is hoping that the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), John Bryan will turn around its fortunes.
Speculation is mounting that the Kilkenny man will be the party’s candidate in the European Parliament elections in May 2014.
The Inistioge based farmer is expected to announce his candidacy officially when his term ends in January.
He has enjoyed an incredible term as president of the country’s largest farming organisation and spearheaded the IFA drive to highlight the importation of poor quality beef from South America
Mr Bryan will join sitting MEP, Sean Kelly on the ticket. The constituency has changed since the last election with Kilkenny and Carlow now part of Munster. He might face local opposition through Fianna Fail TD and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, John McGuinness who has not ruled out going for Europe after sitting MEP, Liam Alyward from Kilkenny announced he will not be seeking re-election. Mr McGuinness’s son Andrew might go forward, and would be a formidable candidate.