Cavan-Monaghan TD Brendan Smith is seeking a nomination to run for Fianna Fáil in the European Elections in May.

He is the second senior party figure today to indicate he would like a move from Dáil Éireann to Brussels.

Deputy Smith, who served as minister for agriculture, fisheries and food from 2008 to 2011 in then taoiseach Brian Cowen's cabinet, has been a TD since he was first elected in 1992.

The Cavan man previously worked as a special advisor to former tánaiste John Wilson for 15 years.

A prominent member of the Oireachas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, Mr Smith said he has been contacted by a number of people from Northern Ireland who are concerned that they will have no European Union representation after Brexit.

He said: "Some of the people that contacted me said it is important to have MEPs from south of the border who have an interest in and understanding of Northern Ireland".

He cited his experience on the European Council of Ministers as something that gives him an in depth understanding of the workings of the EU.

Geographically well placed in his West Cavan base, Mr Smith would be contesting the May elections in the vast Midlands-North West constituency.

Fianna Fáil's Pat The Cope Gallagher narrowly lost his seat as an MEP there in 2014 and it is expected that there will be enough Fianna Fáil votes in what was the old 'Connacht-Ulster' constituency for the party to regain this seat.

Westmeath-based Fianna Fáil senator Aidan Davitt in also contesting the party nomination.

He said: "I am in the centre of the constituency. Also as a senator I have a good network of county councillors and I have chaired a number of Fianna Fáil selection conventions across the constituency recently".

Other interested candidates that are understood to be in the shake up for the nomination are former Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) president John Comer and former Donegal North East Fianna Fáil TD Niall Blaney.

There have also been rumours in Leinster House that Laois-Offaly Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen may seek a nomination. Laois and Offaly are set to move into the Ireland South constituency from the Midlands North West constituency, according to the boundary review published last September.

This morning the party's Cork North Central TD Billy Kelleher told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that he would like to contest the forthcoming European elections in the Ireland South constituency.

One party source said that before Christmas there was a clear understanding from party headquarters that sitting TDs would not be given the go-ahead to run for Europe as it appeared that a general election was imminent.

On 12 December party leader Micheál Martin said his party will guarantee the Government can continue throughout 2019 and an election may be held early in 2020.

Following this announcement, Fianna Fáil TDs are now indicating their wishes to contest European seats.