A first-time candidate in the upcoming European elections has hit out at her Fine Gael colleague for "encroaching onto her side" of the Midlands-Northwest constituency.

In today's Sunday Independent, former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh is critical of sitting MEP Mairead McGuinness and has accused Ms McGuinness of straying into her designated electoral area.

Ms Walsh says it's disappointing that her party colleague is not sticking to her side of the constituency, as they're both trying to win seats for the party.

She says the Fine Gael strategy was for her to focus on the West and Northwest of the constituency, while Ms McGuinness was to canvass the east.

However, shortly before the boundary lines were officially issued, Mairead McGuinness is understood to have spoken in Maria Walsh's former secondary school - Presentation College, Headford.

Sources for Ms McGuinness said she was invited to the Headford school long before Ms Walsh was announced as a candidate.

Mairead McGuinness told the Sunday Independent that she fully supports and is abiding by the party's decision to split the constituency between the two candidates, and the focus of her canvass is exclusively on the counties allocated to her.

The sitting MEP said the aim is to win two seats for the party in the large-13 county constituency.

The two FG candidates are among 17 candidates seeking election to four seats in the Midlands-Northwest constituency.

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