The next election is the “right time” to step down from Dáil Éireann, Bríd Smith has said.
The People Before Profit TD for Dublin South Central was elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2020.
Before she became a TD, the 61-year-old was a trade unionist and local councillor.
Speaking to The Hard Shoulder, Deputy Smith said she had been doing a lot of thinking about her future recently.
“If I were to run in the next election, it [retirement] would be another five years after that,” she said.
“So, you’re talking about six-and-a-half, seven years before you’d be looking at who can step up to the plate.”
Deputy Smith has endorsed Hazel de Nortúin as her preferred successor and described her as a “dynamic, prominent councillor” in the local constituency.
“She’s from Cherry Orchard, she’s a young, working-class mother who has done a huge amount of work in the area,” she said.
“Cllr Hazel de Nortúin is willing to step up to the plate and I think this is a good time to make that change.
“I had to think about it long and hard because it’s obviously difficult for the left to hold onto all of its seats in these hard times and we don’t know what the landscape will be like in about 18 months when it’s predicted there will be an election.
“But I imagine it’ll be a tight enough space.”
Deputy Smith said Dublin South Central is “quite a left-wing constituency” and noted there were no Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael TDs in the area.
“I would like to hand over the baton to the next generation, to a younger woman, to a working-class woman from Cherry Orchard,” she said.
“I think it’s the right time to do it now and to make the preparation for people to know that I’m genuine about this.”
She insisted she is “not running away” from politics and will continue to be active around the constituency.
“I do intend to play a big role in People Before Profit, not as a TD but rather as an ex-TD, who is supporting other young people to build a project that can bring about change,” she said.
In recent months, Deputy Smith has been particularly vocal in her opposition to new data centres.
Main image: Bríd Smith