Dublin-Central Independent TD Maureen O'Sullivan has announced she will not contest the General Election, thus ending her 11-year career as a TD.
In a video statement posted on her website, Ms O'Sullivan who succeeded the late Tony Gregory said it was a difficult decision to take.
“After much thinking and talking, I have decided not to stand in this election. It was a difficult decision to make especially after what’s been a very considerable and unprecedented legacy of almost 40 years of an Independent seat in Dublin Central – held by the late Tony Gregory for 27 years and by me for over 10 and a half years,” she said.
In her statement, she said she worked hard in those years and in a respectful way to raise constituency issues, especially for the north inner city, and also raise national and international issues.
Those issues ranged over addiction, mental health, disability, community empowerment, housing, youth – services and education – great to see History restored for Junior Cert, she said.
“I’m sorry not to be here to complete my Sex Offenders Bill which would have made it difficult for those convicted of child sexual abuse in Ireland from being able to abuse children in countries where there is a sex trade involving children. And I’m also sorry not being here to progress my planned legislation on Business and Human Rights due diligence,” she said with some regret.
“I’ve been persistent on tax justice, especially corporate tax, persistent on Human Rights for those in the Developing World – communities, indigenous peoples who risk their lives campaigning for justice, accountability and exposing corruption. I’ve supported our Development Aid, untied and poverty-focused,” she said.
Ms O'Sullivan said that being part of Independents 4 Change group has been very positive.
“We co-operated, collaborated also disagreed and voted differently from each other sometimes – real independence. I wish them well,” she said.
Her decision to not contest the election significantly opens up the race in Dublin-Central as it has increased from a three-seater to a four seater with Social Democrats councillor Gary Gannon and Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Fitzpatrick best placed to benefit from the gap.
This afternoon, Paschal Donhoe, the sitting Fine Gael TD for the area, paid a warm tribute to Ms O'Sullivan highlighting her commitment to public service and her warm personal manner.
He wished her well in her future endeavours.