Fine Gael TD Deasy considers US move as he prepares to depart Dáil

Fine Gael TD Deasy considers US move as he prepares to depart Dáil

Veteran Fine Gael TD John Deasy is considering working in the US after revealing he will quit the Dáil after the next general election.

The Waterford politician said his role as Ireland’s US envoy has rekindled his interest in US backroom politics area after 18 years as a TD, adding he would “like to do something different before I get too old”.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner after he formally revealed he will quit national politics after the next election, Mr Deasy said while he has yet to make any decisions he has a number of US contacts.

Noting his previous work before he became a TD as a US senate backroom official, the 51-year-old politician confirmed he is considering switching attention to the area when he leaves the Dáil. Mr Deasy said:

I’ve worked in the US, I started [as a backroom official] in the US senate, and I have experience in trade and law

Mr Deasy confirmed he told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in March he would not stand again in the next general election, saying he has already been in the Dáil since 2002 and that it is time to try something new.

While stressing “nothing set me off, it’s just time”, Mr Deasy said it is in part because of the “unstable” nature of the modern Dáil and that he wants to try “something different before I get too old”.

Saying “I would have missed the Dáil more if I left 10 years ago”, Mr Deasy said “the Dáil now is a strange place” and that a minority Government “has brought an air of uncertainty to the place”.

He rejected claims recent division in the Fine Gael Waterford branch contributed to his decision to leave, saying it had not influenced his announcement. Mr Deasy’s decision not to contest the next general election means he will be bringing an end to a four-term run in the Dáil which saw him successfully win a seat in the 2002, 2007 and 2011 and 2016 elections.

Mr Deasy — who was preceded by his father Austin, a previous agriculture minister who passed away in 2017 — played a key role on the 2011-2016 Dáil public accounts committee but will equally be remembered for his decision to smoke a cigarette in the Dáil bar during the smoking ban campaign.

In a statement confirming Mr Deasy’s decision not to contest the next general election, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the TD’s retirement “will end more than half a century of service by the Deasy family; one of the proudest and most honourable in our political history”.


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