Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin has confirmed he plans to step away from politics before the next election.
In a letter to his party colleagues last night, the Kerry TD said he would not be seeking a nomination for the next election.
He said he had taken the decision after much consideration with his family.
In an interview on Radio Kerry this morning, the 40-year-old politician said he wanted to spend more time with his two young sons.
"It is a very straightforward one really,” he said.
“The reason I won’t be seeking a nomination for the next general election is that I have two young sons and I have missed an awful lot of their childhood already and I want to be around for the remainder of their childhood.
“Those years are very short.”
He said another term in office could potentially take him to a situation where his boys would be almost 17 and 15.
“I feel I would have missed it all because political is so all-consuming,” he said.
“There is so much time away from home. Even when you are at home, your mind is often elsewhere preoccupied with the issues and challenges of the day.”
You only live once
He said he spends three or four nights a week away from his family at Leinster House.
“You only get to live once and my family are extremely important to me,” he said. “They are the most important thing in my life.
“Maybe there was a time when politics was before my kids came along, but I just want to be able to be around them and be available to them for the coming years while they see out the rest of their childhood.”
Deputy Griffin was first elected to the Dáil in 2011 and was appointed Minister of State for Tourism and Sport in 2017.
He was later appointed Deputy Chief Whip – but was overlooked for the position of Chief Whip in December's Cabinet reshuffle.