FG's Paul Connaughton to retire
Fine Gael’s Galway East TD Paul Connaughton has announced today that he will not contest the next general election.
Mr Connaughton (66) was first elected to Seanad Éireann in 1977 and has held his Dáil seat since first being elected in 1981.
Announcing his decision to retire from politics today, Mr Connaughton said he believed it was time "the torch should be passed on to a new generation."
Mr Connaughton was a minister of state at the Department of Agriculture in Garret FitzGerald’s Fine Gael-led government from 1982-1987. He has held several positions on Fine Gael’s front bench over a period of 20 years.
“It was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be involved in the political life of the country over such a long period, but I feel saddened that the country has been allowed to drift into a terrible position where so many ordinary people are now hurt and humiliated,” he said.
Today's announcement brings the number of TDs planning to retire at the next general election to 10 so far.