Fine Gael TD for Donegal South West, Dinny McGinley, has confirmed that he has changed his mind about retiring at the next election.

In a statement issued this evening, Mr McGinley said that the party and the selected candidate, Cllr Terence Slowey, had come to the view that he was best placed to retain Fine Gael's seat in the constituency.

He said this was in the best interests of the people of Donegal South-West and of the Fine Gael party.

The other sitting TDs in the three seat constituency are Minister for Agriculture and Food Mary Coughlan and Junior Transport Minister Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher.

Mr McGinley will also face a strong challenge from Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty, who was the party's candidate for the North West constituency in the last European elections.

In a statement, Cllr Slowey said he had decided to step down from the Fine Gael ticket, to ensure that Fine Gael retains its seat.

He said he was not going to hide how difficult this decision was for him, but that he had always put the best interests of the Fine Gael party before his own personal political ambition.