A spokesperson for Fine Gael has said there are no plans to run former PD leader and government minister Michael McDowell as a Fine Gael candidate at the next general election.

He said a newspaper story in today's Irish Daily Mail was speculative and the party would not comment on speculation.

He confirmed however that the party has had recent dealings with Mr McDowell in his role as a senior counsel.

Mr McDowell acted for the party in a court action taken by Senator Eugene Regan, over the failure of the Senator's daughter to obtain a nomination to run in the local elections for the party.

The spokesperson also said that they will be looking to win extra seats across many constituencies at the next general election, including Dublin South East where Mr McDowell is based.