Fine Gael Cllr Patrick Connor-Scarteen (46), who has served as a councillor in the Kenmare area for fifteen years, has announced he is not to seek re-election.
The councillor last night wrote to members to say he will not be putting his name forward at a local selection convention on Friday.
The announcement has come as a shock in south Kerry. Mr Connor-Scarteen is the third generation of his family to hold a council seat.
His grandfather, Pat, was first elected 75 years ago on Friday, and the seat was subsequently held by Michael, Patrick’s father. A granduncle, Timothy, was a councillor.
Mr Connor-Scarteen is seen as close to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who was a guest at his wedding to barrister Katie O’Connell in Kenmare four years ago.
Two other Fine Gael councillors, mayor of Kerry Jim Finucane from Tralee, and long-standing Dingle councillor Seamus Cosai Fitzgerald, also announced they will not seek re-election in recent weeks.
Mr Connor-Scarteen, an auctioneer, financial and insurance broker, as well as a solicitor, said his decision was taken for ' “family and professional” reasons.
He had been approached to run for the Dáil in Kerry after Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin, also in his 40s, announced he would not be seeking re-election, he confirmed on Radio Kerry on Tuesday.