McManus will not seek re-election


Labour Party Wicklow TD Liz McManus has announced her intention not to stand in the next general election.

Ms McManus (63) who is the Labour spokeswoman on communications, energy and natural resources, has served as a public representative for 31 years.

She was elected to serve on Bray Town Council as a representative of Sinn Féin the Workers Party in 1979. She was subsequently elected to Wicklow Co Council, and in 1992, won a Dáil seat as a member of the Democratic Left party.

She served as minister for housing and urban renewal when the Democratic Left went into coalition with the Labour Party and Fine Gael from 1994-1997

She was elected as deputy leader of the Labour Party when it merged with Democratic Left in 1999. Since then, she has also served as party spokeswoman for health.

In a statement this morning, Ms McManus said: "It has been a privilege for me to represent Co Wicklow for the Labour Party and I will continue to do so to the best of my ability until the next general election".

Ms McManus said she thought it "vital" that the Labour Party offers new and younger candidates at the next election.

She added that Labour could win two seats in Co Wicklow. "With the right candidates and a strong campaign we can achieve that goal. So I have decided not to put my name forward for nomination at the selection convention to be held later this year," she said.

"Ireland is crying out for a fresh start and a new beginning," she said. "Our society needs a strong and powerful Labour presence in Government."

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said Ms McManus will be a great loss to the people of Wicklow, the party and the Dáil.

"But I fully respect the decision she has made," he said. "Liz is a person of great personal and political courage, always willing to take on vested interests and who was never afraid to take a principled stand on matters of importance to her."

Labour's MEP in Ireland East Nessa Childers also paid tribute. "Liz McManus has been an inspiration to me and to countless women in the Labour Party and in public life in general," she said.

Earlier this week, Fine Gael’s Olwyn Enright, a Dáil deputy for Laois-Offaly since 2002, announced she would not contest the next general election.

Ms Enright (36) said her decision to leave politics at the end of the Dáil term was motivated solely by family reasons. Ms Enright is married to Joe McHugh, a Fine Gael TD in Donegal North East.