McGuinness rules out bid for Dáil seat

Leinster MEP Mairead McGuinness stated categorically this week that she would not run in the next Dáil elections, despite intense pressure from many of her constituents.

Leinster MEP Mairead McGuinness stated categorically this week that she would not run in the next Dáil elections, despite intense pressure from many of her constituents.

The Fine Gael MEP said that although she had been not asked at senior party level to throw her hat in the ring, there had been repeated requests from local county councillors and other associates, particularly in her County Louth base.

"From a personal point of view, I sometimes feel that I'm letting these people down as they are all good friends, but you have to take your own stand and I have been very clear that I am not a candidate for the general election," said Ms McGuinness.

The former agriculture broadcaster and journalist failed to win a seat in the 2007 general election when she finished in fifth place in Louth behind Sinn Fin TD Arthur Morgan. This time around she says she has "no inclination" to run again, adding that a lot of her work on food security and the Common Agricultural Policy is EU-led.

"Fine Gael needs people here at EU level, we can't take our eye off that ball," she said.

However Ms McGuinness is expected to put in a strong fight to succeed President Mary McAleese, following a recent poll which put her second favourite among voters to win the position in ras an Uachtarin in the election.