Eamon Gilmore to retire from politics at next election

Statement announces he will not contest Dún Laoghaire selection convention

Former Tánaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore is set to retire from politics at the next general election. Photograph: Frank Miller

Former Tánaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore is set to retire from politics at the next general election. Photograph: Frank Miller

 

Former tánaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore is set to retire from politics at the next general election.

Mr Gilmore issued a statement this evening announcing that he will not contest the Dún Laoghaire selection convention for the Labour Party.

“I have today informed party leader Joan Burton that I am not seeking a nomination as a candidate for the next general election,” Mr Gilmore said.

“It has been an honour to represent the people of Dún Laoghaire for the past 30 years and I am also informing members of the Labour Party, in my constituency of my decision.”

Mr Gilmore thanked “the members of the Labour Party in Dún Laoghaire for their continued support and friendship, and the staff with whom I have worked for their loyalty and hard work”.

“I also wish to acknowledge my parliamentary colleagues in the Labour Party, and from across the political spectrum, for their work in the public interest.

“Above all, I wish to thank my wife Carol and our children Gráinne, Oisín and Sean for their love and comfort through all the challenges of my public life. And I want to thank too our extended family, and our personal friends who were always there for us.”

He said he is looking “forward to continuing to contribute to public life and the Labour Party”.

Mr Gilmore has been a TD since 1989, when he was elected as a deputy for the Worker’s Party. He served as a Democratic Left Minister of State in the Rainbow Coalition of 1994-1997.

He was elected Labour leader in 2007, leading it into Coalition with Fine Gael in 2011, when he also became tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

He resigned as party leader after Labour’s poor showing in last year’s local and European elections.

However, he was praised in the wake of the same-sex marriage referendum for pushing the issue on this Government’s agenda.