The Dun Laoghaire TD revealed the decision last night, almost a year to the day since he resigned as party leader in the wake of a local and European elections defeat. Mr Gilmore entered the Dáil in 1989 as a Worker’s Party TD and over three decades was part of a new generation of left-leaning representatives in politics.
After leaving with Democratic Left, Mr Gilmore was part of the merger with the Labour Party, and a minister of state from 1994 to 1997 under the rainbow coalition.
He became Labour leader in 2007, leading the party to its best ever electoral success during the 37-seat strong “Gilmore gale” in 2011.
After entering government with Fine Gael, the party’s popularity fell ahead of the disastrous 2014 elections. Mr Gilmore, who is married with three children, said it had been an honour to represent his constituency and he wanted to “acknowledge colleagues across the political spectrum”.
His replacement as Labour leader and Tánaiste, Joan Burton, and Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin last night championed their colleague for working “tirelessly and painstakingly” to help Ireland’s recovery,.
“The central aim of public service is to make the country a better place. There can be no question Eamon Gilmore achieved that,” Ms Burton said.