Minister of State Brian Hayes is to seek a nomination to run in the European Parliament elections.

The Fine Gael TD for Dublin South West said he felt a responsibility to ensure that his party retains the seat, which was held by Gay Mitchell for ten years.

Mr Hayes told his local constituency organisation last night of his plans.

He said his decision came "after a period of consultation with my family, with senior figures in the Fine Gael Party and with people whose opinions I value".

Earlier, Ireland East MEP Nessa Childers announced that she will run in Dublin as an Independent in the European Parliament elections.

In a statement, she said her policy platforms included campaigning for a European policy that prioritises job creation, supports the self-employed and small business and promotes fairness and accountability.

She said she would also campaign for "access to quality health services as a right, not a privilege for the wealthy few" and "writing off the €34bn bankers' gambling debts, debt unfairly foisted on citizens".

The local and European elections will take place on 23 May.

Speaking following his announcement this morning, Mr Hayes said he supported the Taoiseach's view that he should remain on as minister between now and the election, but he added that when the campaign kicks off he will not draw a salary.

Mr Hayes also said that it is his intention to serve a full term.

When asked if he would be frustrated in Europe, he said politicians are always frustrated, but added if elected he would be part of the biggest grouping in the parliament - the European People's Party.