Fine Gael TD for Galway West Brian Walsh resigned his seat yesterday, much to the surprise of his party.
Mr Walsh, 43, — who had announced he was not to contest the general 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 was certain it was the right one.
Yesterday, Ceann Comhairle Seán 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 chair-persons in his absence.
A spokeswoman for the Oireachtas confirmed Mr Walsh presented his letter of resignation 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 byelection is likely to fill the seat.
Last November, Mr Walsh announced he would not contest the general election on medical grounds. Mr Walsh 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.
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