FOUR TDs have put themselves forward to become the next leader of Fianna Fail.
Brian Lenihan officially launched his campaign in Dublin today, as did Mary Hanafin.
Eamonn O’Cuiv and Micheal Martin are the other contenders.
Ms Hanafin has appealed to TDs not to publicly declare their support and to save their views for Wednesday’s secret ballot.
Finance Minister Mr Lenihan, who has been battling cancer, said he had sought advice of doctors who had assured him he is more than able to meet the challenges associated with leadership.
He said his tumour has reduced substantially and energy levels are restored. Mr Lenihan said he is immensely grateful to the Irish people for the goodwill shown in the last year or so.
Ms Hanafin said she had rung around a number of her party colleagues to get their views before she decided to go forward as a candidate for the party leadership.
Minister Hanafin said she was being proposed by fellow Minister Pat Carey and being seconded by Tipperary North TD Máire Hoctor.