Fergus O’Dowd has announced he will retire at the next general election.
The Louth TD first won election as a Fine Gael TD in 2002 and has been returned at each successive General Election.
In 2011, Enda Kenny appointed him as a joint Minister of State in the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.
Following his return to the backbenchers in 2014, he has served on the Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
A number of weeks ago I informed the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, that I would not be seeking a nomination to contest the next general election. Full statement below 👇 pic.twitter.com/ufXCpG3FrJ
— Fergus O'Dowd (@Fergusodowd) November 27, 2023
In a statement posted on social media, Deputy O’Dowd said it had been an “honour and privilege to represent the people of the Louth constituency” and thanked his family for their support.
“I am very proud of my efforts in helping to create a more caring and compassionate Ireland,” he said.
“Among my most important campaigns was to ensure improved quality of care for residents in Nursing Homes and I was honoured to be named Magill TD of the Year in 2006 for putting the national spotlight on this critical issue, an issue that I will continue to prioritise.
“I intend to continue to be a strong and forceful advocate nationally for improved care and supports for older people into the future.”
'Driven by a deep sense of justice'
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Deputy O’Dowd had been a “a powerful advocate for the rights of older people” and would be missed in the next Dáil.
“He is driven by a deep sense of justice and I know that while he will not be in the next Parliamentary Party, he will continue to work and campaign on these issues and I hope I will still be able to work with him on them in some way,” Mr Varadkar said.
The next General Election is due to be held by 2025 at the latest.
Main image: Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd TD arriving at a party meeting in January 2020. Picture by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie