Former MEP and TD Marian Harkin has declared that she will run as an independent candidate in the Sligo Leitrim constituency in the general election.
Ms Harkin previously served as an independent TD in the constituency from 2002 to 2007 and was an MEP from 2004 to 2019.
She did not stand in the last European elections.
She announced her candidacy this morning on local radio station, Ocean FM.
Ms Harkin said she had thought long and hard about her decision and looked at the arithmetic and said she believes that there is a real opportunity for an independent to significantly influence the policy of the next government – either as an individual or as part of a group – on rural and regional issues.
This is an opportunity not to be missed, she said.
She said no-one knows who who will form the next government but more than ever the opportunity is there for independent voices to make sure there is a proper balance of development.  
Verona Murphy has also announced that she will run as an independent candidate for Wexford in the election.
Ms Murphy told the New Ross Standard that having reflected on her by-election campaign and subsequent deselection from the Fine Gael ticket she feels the time is right to run for the Dáil as an independent.
She said she has learned that an independent politician is free to highlight any issues that affect the people of Wexford.
Ms Murphy apologised after claiming during the by-election campaign that some asylum seekers coming to Ireland have to be “deprogrammed” as they “carry angst” and may have been “infiltrated by ISIS”.
Ms Murphy said her remarks on RTÉ’s This Week were “a very poor choice of words and I am very sorry to anyone who was offended by them”. 
Ms Murphy also ran a final campaign video which Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he had a ‘big problem’ with.
Last month, Ms Murphy said her remarks about migrants during the campaign had been misrepresented in the media. 
She said that during her tenure as president of the Road Haulage Association “everybody” had heard her talk about security issues around migrants and that she had been privy to information at various security briefings that concerned her.