Finian McGrath confirms he won't stand in February election

The 66-year-old Independent TD made the announcement as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar prepares to meet the President to formally ask that the 32nd Dáil be dissolved

Finian McGrath confirms he won't stand in February election

Cabinet member and disabilities minister Finian McGrath has announced he will not seek re-election.

The Independent Alliance member released a statement this morning, following an announcement to Cabinet that the election will be held on Saturday, February 8.

In a statement, he said:

“I wish to announce that I will not be standing in the forthcoming general election for the 33 Dail. I have given this matter careful consideration and believe this is the correct decision for my family and me. I am far from retiring and will remain involved in political activism, supporting disability issues. I hope to spend time encouraging some of the 13% of Ireland's population who have some form of disability to get involved in politics at a local or national level.”

Mr McGrath had said in recent days that he was 50/50 about whether to seek re-election.

A strong advocate for people with disabilities and special needs, he argued at Cabinet for funding for the sector in recent years as a super-junior minister in the coalition.

He was also a member of the Independent Alliance, the group led by Transport Minister Shane Ross.

However, with a decision by junior OPW minister Kevin Boxer Moran to not campaign in the election under the alliance banner and with speculation that Waterford TD and junior minister John Halligan may not seek re-election, Mr Ross may be the only member of the alliance going into the 2020 general election campaign.

Mr McGrath took the fifth seat in the Dublin Bay North constituency beating Labour's Aodhán Ó Ríordáin to the final seat.

- Additional reporting Digital Desk

More in this section