The invitation to stand came from Dick Spring, the Labour leader, after she earlier declined a Fianna Fail approach.
Ms Roche, who is running as the People's candidate to embrace the widest possible support, said in June she was unwilling to step down as head of the Chernobyl Children's Project charity she founded six years ago, since when she has led 70-truck convoys carrying medical supplies to the Ukraine, and has arranged medical assistance for children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.
Bookmakers have made Ms Roche, 42, the 11-10 favourite, with former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds 4-1, former foreign minister David Andrews 9-4, and Fine Gael's Mary Banotti 7-2. Dana, the singer, will also appear on the ballot after securing her fourth local council nomination last night.
- Alan MurdochReuse content