Senator Fidelma Healy Eames announces intention to leave politics

She unsuccessfully contested the recent general election in Galway West

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Fidelma Healy Eames. Image: Leah Farell/

Senator Fidelma Healy Eames has announced she is retiring from politics.

In a statement, Ms Healy Eames says she will not re-contest her Seanad seat and is nominating Jonathan Irwin from the Jack & Jill Foundation to take her seat.

"Leaving politics has not been an easy decision to make and I'm grateful to the Oireachtas members offering to nominate me to re-contest the Seanad," she explained in a statement.

She adds that "I thank you for the opportunity to serve. It has been a privilege to contribute to the wellbeing of our people and our country".

She also says she believes Mr Irwin's "voice and experience as an advocate is vital in the Seanad".

A former Fine Gael and Reform Alliance member, Healy Eames contested the recent general election in Galway West as an Independent candidate. She picked up 1,394 first preference votes and was eliminated on the fifth count.

Ms Healy Eames was a Galway County Councillor for the Oranmore area before her election to the Seanad in 2007.

She has been at the centre of controversy on a number of occasions, including for a tweet last year saying she hoped Mother's Day would still be celebrated after the Marriage Equality referendum.