The Dublin MEP Gay Mitchell has said he will not contest the 2014 European Elections. He was elected Member of the European Parliament back in 2004.
He first took a Dáil seat in 1981 and was Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for European Affairs Local Development from 1994-1997. He was the Irish Representative on the Reflection Group which prepared the Amsterdam Treaty.
He served for the second time as Fine Gael Front Bench Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, June 2002 to October 2004. He was also Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs from July 2002 to October 2004 and was Chairman of its sub-committee on EU Legislative Scrutiny.
He was previously the Fine Gael spokesperson on Health from 2000-2002 and Chairman of the Dáil Committee of Public Accounts from 1987-1993. He is also a former member of the board of Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.
'A good time for new candidates'
Speaking in Strasbourg Mr. Mitchell said "When I first stood for the European Parliament in 2004 I did so at the request of the Party Leader, as Fine Gael only had three Dáil seats out of 43 in Dublin, one of which was mine".
"In 2009, Dublin was reduced from a four seater to a three seater and I stood again. Next year I will be 10 years in Parliament, and I have already served 26 years as a TD. Fine Gael now has 16 T.Ds, three Senators and 36 councillors in Dublin. Taking all things into account I believe this is a good time to allow new candidates to emerge".
"I am making this decision public so as to allow for consultations and arrangements to be made well in advance" he added.
He spoke in the European Parliament yesterday on the preparations for a European Council meeting.