Maureen O’Sullivan announces she will not run for re-election in Dublin Central

Fianna Fáil, Social Democrats, Greens due to fight for seat held by Gregory group

The Dublin Central TD Maureen O'Sullivan has announced that she will not stand for re-election, bringing to an end almost 40 years of representation of Dublin's inner city by the independent organisation founded by the late Tony Gregory.

Mr Gregory was a TD for 27 years and Ms O’Sullivan was elected after his death in 2009. However, in a statement today Ms O’Sullivan announced she would not contest the forthcoming general election.

“It was a difficult decision to make especially after what’s been a very considerable and unprecedented legacy of almost 40 years of an Independent seat in Dublin Central,” she said.

In the last Dáil, Ms O’Sullivan worked as a member of the Independents 4 Change group.

“Being part of Independents 4 Change group has been very positive – we co-operated, collaborated, also disagreed and voted differently from each other sometimes – real independence. I wish them well,” she said.

“Everything I’ve said and done has been through a commitment to Social Justice, Equality and Fairness.”

Ms O’Sullivan’s retirement, along with the addition of an extra seat in Dublin Central to make it a four seater, opens the door to candidates challenging to win a seat.

While the Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe are expected to be re-elected, Fianna Fáil's Mary Fitzpatrick, the Green Party's Neasa Hourigan and the Social Democrats' Gary Gannon will all push strongly to take a seat.

Labour's Joe Costello, who previously held a seat in the constituency, is also likely to be in the running.

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times