After several days of speculation about his political future, Cllr Paul O’Donoghue, who had already been chosen as a local elections candidate for the party in the South and West Kerry area, said he would not be going forward.
There is ongoing speculation that John O’Donoghue, who has indicated his interest in returning to the Dáil, may be added to the ticket instead.
However, he is remaining tight-lipped about his intentions.
Paul O’Donoghue, a Killorglin solicitor, issued a brief statement in which he thanked all of those who had supported him over the years.
“I regret the delay in confirming my position but, due to work commitments, I would not have been able to give a campaign the time and effort required,” he said.
It is understood Mr O’Donoghue, a councillor since 1997, was under pressure from senior party members during the week to stay on.
He headed the poll at a Fianna Fáil convention in November to select candidates for the nine-seat South and West Kerry area and was chosen alongside his first cousin, Cllr Michael O’Shea, Milltown, and Breandán Mac Gearailt, a son of the late senator Tom Fitzgerald, from Dingle.
That Mr O’Donoghue allowed his name go before a convention so recently has added to the element of surprise at his withdrawal.
The party will now be adding a new candidate to the ticket, with John O’Donoghue the name most frequently mentioned.