FG's Burke to retire at next election


Fine Gael TD for Galway East Ulick Burke has announced he is to retire at the next general election.

Mr Burke’s decision brings to 13 the number of TDs who have confirmed they will not stand for re-election.

Mr Burke (67), the party’s deputy spokesman on education, was first elected for Dáil Éireann in 1997 but lost his seat five years later in the 2002 election. He was subsequently elected to the Seanad on the agricultural panel where he served until the 2007. He regained his Galway East Dáil seat at the 2007 general election.

His party colleague in the four-seater constituency Paul Connaughton announced on Tuesday he would also step down, saying it was time “the torch should be passed on to a new generation”. Mr Connaughton, who has served Galway East since 1981, was a former minister of state.

Fine Gael TD Cavan-Monaghan Seymour Crawford also announced his retirement yesterday, saying it was time for a younger person to contest the constituency which he has represented since 1992.

Donegal North East TD Jim McDaid (61), who had been without the Fianna Fáil whip, resigned from the Dáil at the beginning of the month.

Sinn Féin TD for Louth Arthur Morgan (56) confirmed earlier this month he wanted to return to his family business after serving two terms. Shortly afterwards, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said he would seek the party nomination in the constituency.

Long-serving Fine Gael TD Jim O’Keeffe (69) of Cork South West, a former minister of state, will not run again, while veteran Labour TD Michael D Higgins (69) of Galway West has confirmed he will not contest.

Jackie Healy-Rae (79), Independent TD for Kerry South, has ruled out fighting another election. Fine Gael TD PJ Sheehan (77) of Cork South West will not run again.

Wicklow TD and former minister of state Liz McManus (63) said in September she would not stand again, while Mary Upton (64) of Dublin South Central also announced she would stand down.

Former Fianna Fáil whip and minister of state Tom Kitt (58) of Dublin South has said he will not run in the next election.

Fine Gael TD Olwyn Enright (36) of Laois-Offaly announced in August she would not contest for family reasons.

TDs who have yet to decide if they will stand again include Mary O’Rourke of Fianna Fáil, Lucinda Creighton of Fine Gael Minister for Health Mary Harney and former taoiseach Bertie Ahern.