Former President of the European Parliament Pat Cox has confirmed that he has applied for membership of Fine Gael.
His application comes ahead of an expected attempt to become the party's candidate in the presidential election later this year.
In a statement, Mr Cox said he had written to the St Luke's Branch of Fine Gael in the Cork North Central constituency and had also sought the approval of the party's Executive Council.
Mr Cox, 58, served three terms as an MEP for Munster - first with the Progressive Democrats and later as an independent. He was elected President of the European Parliament in 2002.
He won a Dáil seat in 1992 in Cork South Central and currently lives at Shanakiel in the Cork North Central constituency.
He also ran for Fianna Fáil as an unsuccessful local election candidate in 1979.
Mr Cox, who is currently out of the country, made no comment on the presidential election in the statement released to RTÉ News.
However, he said he had also written to Fine Gael General Secretary Tom Curran requesting the approval of the party's Executive Council for his membership application.
He said he will be making no further comment until his membership application has been dealt with by Fine Gael.