Since 1977 Denis O’Donovan or the late Joe Walsh, or sometimes both combined, have run in the constituency for the party.
Senator O’Donovan has said he will not be putting his name forward because he feared that if he did Fianna Fáil would run two candidates, which he believes is not the right strategy.
The 59-year-old, who started his political career when he was elected to Cork County Council in 1985, said despite getting nearly 240 written nominations to contest next Sunday’s convention he would be withdrawing his name.
“I don’t think we should run two candidates. I’m confident that just running one will get us a seat.
“Having consulted widely with my friends, four children and partner, I have decided not to run,” he said yesterday.
The decision leaves the field open for three other candidates: the Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Alan Coleman; sitting county councillor Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony; and former Bandon town councillor Gillian Coughlan.
Senator O’Donovan has been a TD or member of the Seanad since 1997.
The native of Bantry graduated from University College Cork in Law (Hons) in 1975.
O’Donovan was first elected to the Seanad in 1997, then served as a TD from 2002-2007 and after losing his seat went back to the Seanad again.
He said that while he was opting our of a chance for a Dáil seat, he was interested in running for the Seanad again.
“I’m hoping to get back to the Seanad. I enjoy working there and would like another term,” he said.