HIGH-profile independent senator Shane Ross is considering standing for the Dáil in the upcoming general election.

Speaking to the Sunday Tribune yesterday, Ross confirmed he had been approached by a number of groupings and parties with a view to running for the Dáil. "I'm thinking about it and am giving it serious consideration," he said. Ross has been a senator since 1981 and said the determining factor in his decision would be whether he would be more effective in the Dáil or Seanad.

While Ross lives in Wicklow, his home is close to the borders with both the Dun Laoghaire and Dublin South constituencies. Of these, five-seater Dublin South would be more likely to produce a victory. Sources in the main political parties believe Ross's stature as one of the best-known commentators on economic and business matters in the country would make him a formidable candidate who would likely take a seat in any of these constituencies. Ross unsuccessfully stood for the Dáil in 1992 in Wicklow representing Fine Gael. He later left the party and has been an independent ever since.

His profile has soared in recent years and he has earned a reputation as a people's champion thanks to his public stands on the M50 toll-bridge, Eircom shareholders, the Fás expenses scandal and the economic and banking crisis. Ross declined to be drawn on whether he would run as an independent or with a party.