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One of Ireland's most colourful senators is retiring from politics

Fidelma Healy-Eames will not contest the forthcoming Seanad election.

Fidelma Healy-Eames
Fidelma Healy-Eames
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

INDEPENDENT SENATOR FIDELMA Healy-Eames has confirmed she is retiring from politics.

Healy-Eames has decided against running for re-election to the Seanad next month having failed to win a Dáil seat in Galway West last month.

The former Galway city councillor has chosen to nominate the founder of the Jack and Jill Foundation, Jonathan Irwin, to contest the forthcoming election for the upper house.

In a statement, Healy-Eames said: “Leaving politics has not been an easy decision to make and I’m grateful to the Oireachtas members offering to nominate me to re-contest the Seanad.”

Healy-Eames was first elected to the Seanad’s Labour panel in 2007 as a Fine Gael senator having been an unsuccessful Dáil candidate for the party in the 2002 and 2007 general elections.

She also ran unsuccessfully in Galway West in 2011, but was re-elected to the Seanad that same year. She was expelled from Fine Gael in 2013 after voting against the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill.

Healy-Eames voiced strong pro-life views during the fraught Oireachtas debates on the issue. She later became involved in the Reform Alliance initiative with other Fine Gael colleagues who were expelled for opposing the legislation.

She became something of an online sensation last year with a series of bizarre comments. In July, she pronounced WiFi as as “wiffy” during a Seanad debate on internet safety.

A few months before that she claimed in a tweet that if Ireland was to recognise same-sex marriage, it could mean the end of Mother’s Day celebrations.

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Healy-Eames later claimed that the tweet was about provoking a debate and insisted she would not like to see any ban put in place in Ireland.

In January 2015, her use of the hashtag #sexualorientation, while praising former colleague Leo Varadkar for coming out publicly, caused a stir on Twitter.

In 2013, she also caused controversy when she described the practice of ‘fraping’ as where “you’re raped on Facebook”:

Source: OireachtasRetortTV/YouTube

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Hugh O'Connell

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