Fine Gael TD for Kerry Brendan Griffin has confirmed he will not be contesting in the next election.
In a letter to members and councillors last night, Mr Griffin said after much consideration with his family he will not be seeking a nomination to stand in the next general election.
“The [reason] for this is a straightforward one. I have two young sons and I want to be around them more for the remaining years of their childhood,” he wrote.
“Politics demands absolute commitment and is an extremely time and attention consuming profession.”
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“It is also a job that takes you away from home and loved ones for long periods of time on a regular basis. And when you are at home, your mind is often preoccupied with any number of issues and challenges,” he wrote.
He acknowledged Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for his confidence in him in appointing him minister of state for tourism and sport in 2017 and subsequent appointment as deputy chief whip.
First elected to the Dáil in 2011, after fewer than three years in the county council, speculation had surrounded his intentions, particularly since he was overlooked for the position of chief whip in the Cabinet reshuffle.
Ideally placed in Castlemaine in the centre of what is now a five-seater constituency uniting Kerry North and Kerry South, Mr Griffin will be difficult to replace for Fine Gael, it is widely felt.