Former Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan is to retire at the next General Election.
Boundary changes mean his Laois/Offaly constituency will be broken up into two new three seaters and the TD has informed Fine Gael he intends to stand in neither of them.
“It is now 36 years since I was first elected to Dáil Éireann,” he told a gathering of party faithful in County Laois yesterday.
“Between my father Oliver J and myself that’s 80 years of public service and 23 General Elections.
“In my view now it’s time to pass the baton to a younger generation.
“I’m honoured to have enjoyed a thoroughly fulfilling political career serving both as your TD and at the cabinet table in two of the most influential Departments of State - Foreign Affairs and Justice”
Paying tribute to his former Cabinet colleague, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he had made an “outstanding contribution” to Irish politics and that he was “confident” Fine Gael would hold onto his seat.
“We have an excellent team of councillors and will select one or more candidates in the months ahead, giving them plenty of time to prepare for an electoral contest and to retain the seat as well as challenging for a gain in the new Offaly constituency,” Mr Varadkar said.
Deputy Flanagan was first elected to the Dáil in 1987 after the retirement of his father Oliver J Flanagan - a notorious antisemite who told Dáil Éireann in 1943 Ireland should follow Germany's example and "rout the Jews out of this country".
Main image: Charlie Flanagan Picture by: Department of Justice