Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh resigns due to 'health problems'

Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh resigns due to 'health problems'

By Daniel McConnell, Political Editor

The much-liked Fine Gael TD for Galway West Brian Walsh resigned his seat today, much to the surprise of his own party.

Mr Walsh, who had announced that he was not to contest the upcoming election, has suffered from health issues in recent months.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr Walsh said the decision to resign was a "difficult one" but he said he was certain it was the right one.

This afternoon, Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett came to the Dáil chamber and made the announcement that he had received a letter of resignation from Mr Walsh.

In a warm tribute, Mr Barrett said Mr Walsh would be sadly missed and he thanked him for his work in the Dáil and as one of the panel of 10 who sit in as acting chairpersons in his absence.

A spokeswoman for the Oireachtas confirmed that Mr Walsh presented his letter of resignation to the Ceann Comhairle today and as far as the House is concerned, a vacancy in Galway West now arises.

However, given the General Election is only weeks away, no by election is likely to fill the seat.

Last November, Mr Walsh announced that he will not contest the next general election on medical grounds.

Mr Walsh (aged 43) said “with deep regret” he had decided to withdraw his candidacy “in accordance with medical advice.”

“I have been experiencing health problems for some time, which have resulted in hospitalisation on two occasions recently.

“I have done everything possible to resist making this decision and had hoped to overcome my condition in order to be able to continue.

“But in recent days, it has become clear that I have no choice but to accede to medical advice and withdraw my candidacy in the forthcoming general election.While it is with great sadness that I must step back from this role, I take solace from the fact that this will enable me to spend more time with my family," he said.

Mr Walsh is a first time deputy and was a short-lived member of the "Five-a-side" group of rebel Fine Gael TDs. He lost the party whip having opposed the controversial Protection of Life During Pregnancy bill in 2013 but later rejoined the party.

He was elected to Galway City Council in 2004 and 2009. He is a financial management business owner by profession and is married with one daughter.


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