Cork East TD Ned O’Keeffe has been selected alongside sitting Fianna Fáil MEP Brian Crowley to contest the European election in Ireland South (Munster).

Both men were officially selected at the party’s election convention, which was held at the Silver Springs Hotel on Saturday last.

North Tipperary-based Senator John Hanafin (brother of Social Welfare Minister Mary), who had sought a place on the ticket in recent weeks, withdrew his name for consideration before the official vote was taken.

The decision over who would join Mr Crowley on the ticket broke early on Thursday, with the outspoken Deputy O’Keeffe certain to add colour to an already packed field of runners.

It now means that no less than five Cork residents are now contesting the election, namely: Mr Crowley, fellow parliamentarians Colm Burke (Fine Gael) and Kathy Sinnott (Ind) alongside Deputy O’Keeffe and Dan Boyle (Green Party).

Alan Kelly (Labour), former GAA President Sean Kelly (Fine Gael) and Toireasa Ferris (Sinn Féin) complete the election line-up.

Meanwhile, a Libertas spokesperson confirmed to The Munster Express that they would not be running a candidate in Munster “out of respect to Kathy Sinnott”.

Ms Sinnott, who has already (and adamantly) declared that she is not a ‘de-facto’ candidate for Declan Ganley’s party, was pleased to hear the news.

“Well, for one thing it means there is one less person running in what is already a very competitive field,” she said on Friday last.

“Whatever Libertas decide to do is, of course, entirely up to them; they will do what they feel they have to do, but that doesn’t in any way change the reality I face in aiming to win re-election. And that’s what I’m completely focused and occupied by until June.”