The Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath has announced that he will not be contesting the upcoming General election.
He has been a TD since 2002 and has successfully contested four Dáil elections.
The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has dissolved the Dáil and announced an election for Saturday February 8th.
Posters have already begun appearing in some areas ahead of what will be a three-and-a-half-week campaign.
In a statement this morning, Deputy McGrath said he will remain politically active outside of Leinster House.
“I am far from retiring and will remain involved in political activism, supporting disability issues,” he said.
“I hope to spend time encouraging some of the 13% of Ireland’s population who have some form of disability to get involved in politics at a local or national level.”
The position of Minister of State for Disability Issues was introduced after negotiations on the formation of Government in 2016 and Mr McGrath is challenging all political leaders to retain the portfolio in any future Government.
His Cabinet Colleague Richard Bruton wished him well on his retirement.
“As the first ever Minister for disabilities, he brought a real change to people’s lives,” he said.
“He was always a loyal colleague and at all times treated both supporters and opponents with fairness and respect.”
The election will be the first to be held on a Saturday since 1918 – a vote which saw the establishment of the first Dáil Éireann in Dublin.