THE number of TDs selected to contest next May's European Parliament elections has risen to five tonight - a development that could trigger an Irish general election.
Fianna Fàil confirmed that Galway Deputy Anne Rabbitte and Cork Deputy Billy Kelleher have been added to the party's tickets in the Midlands North West and South constituencies, respectively.
They join deputies Brendan Smith (FF, Midlands North West), Andrew Doyle (FG, south) and Frances Fitzgerald (FG, Dublin) in the election race.
While all five are unlikely to win seats as many as four could, creating the necessity for by-elections.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar could be tempted to call a general election next autumn in such a scenario.