Labour's Ruairi Quinn has announced his impending resignation from the Cabinet.
Mr Quinn, 68, took to the plinth at Leinster House this lunchtime to say he would resign as Minister for Education and Skills when Taoiseach Enda Kenny carries out a cabinet reshuffle, expected next week.
Quinn: this is a considered decision. I have decided to make the task of the new Labour team easier. pic.twitter.com/kI5mGDMFcs— Paul Colgan (@paulcolgan) July 2, 2014
He said that he intends to remain as a TD for the Dublin South-East constituency for the moment but will not contest the next general election.
Mr Quinn's statement follows the resignation of his party leader Eamon Gilmore, with his party colleagues Joan Burton and Alex White both currently battling it out to be named as Mr Gilmore's successor.
Minister Quinn was expected to be dropped in the reshuffle, and is understood to have come to the decision in order to give the new Labour leader options in that reshuffle.
A member of Dáil Éireann since 1977, Minister Quinn led the Labour Party between November 1997 and October 2002.
He has been Minister for Education and Skills since 2011.
In a storied ministerial career he also held the portfolios of Finance (1994-1997), Enterprise & Employment (1993-1994), Public Service (1986-1987), Labour (1984-1987) and the junior environment ministry (1982-1983).