Provisional Sinn Fein has made an audacious attempt to recruit Cork's All Ireland winning hurling captain Sean Og O hAilpin as an election candidate.
They have drawn up a 'dream team' of would-be TDs with O'hAilpin among their top targets.
Local sources said that Provisional Sinn Fein had sounded out the star about his political ambitions in recent weeks. Provisional Sinn Fein's leadership has drawn up a wish list of would-be TDs spanning every profession and with squeaky-clean, paramilitary-free credentials.
Provisional Sinn Fein intends to deploy "respectable" candidates across as many constituencies as possible in the next election - expected in about 18 months - who can attract middle-class votes, and particularly Fianna Fail votes.
Referring to Provisional Sinn Fein's MEP Mary Lou McDonald, one political observer said: "It's the Mary Lou effect. The party knows there are big votes in presentation, people with no baggage. People don't want the PIRA and the North."