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David Stanton in 2019 Sam Boal
Fine Gael

Fine Gael TD for Cork East says he will not seek re-election

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Stanton is a ‘brilliant TD’ who will help ensure that Fine Gael retains a seat in Cork East.

FINE GAEL TD for Cork East, David Stanton, has announced tonight that he will not seek re-election after more than 25 years in office.

Stanton was first elected in 1997 and served as his party’s spokesperson on Social and Family Affairs, and Equality from 2004 to 2007 before serving as Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration from 2016 to 2020.

A statement from Stanton read:

“At a Fine Gael Cork East AGM held last night, I informed my party colleagues that I will not be standing again for re-election at the next General Election.

“It has been the utmost privilege of mine to have represented the constituents of Cork East since my first General Election in 1997 and at the five subsequent elections. I will continue to work for my constituents in the same manner until the next General Election.

“I have informed the Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Fine Gael HQ of my decision and I thank them fully for their support.

“I would also like to acknowledge all those who have supported me and worked with me in my role as a TD. It has been an absolute privilege to represent the people of Cork East as their public representative.

Stanton added that it had been a “privilege” to represent his constituency and that he would work with Fine Gael “to ensure we hold and build on our representation at the next local elections”.

Four Fine Gael TDs have already announced they wouldn’t contest the next election.

These include Michael Creed (Cork North West), John Paul Phelan (Carlow/Kilkenny), Brendan Griffin (Kerry) and Joe McHugh (Donegal).

Following Stanton’s announcement, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was “a brilliant TD and was an excellent Minister of State for four years”.

“Anyone who has worked alongside David knows he is a true gentleman, and also one of the hardest-working TDs in Fine Gael and in the Oireachtas,” the Fine Gael leader said.

“He was an excellent Minister and helped to progress the new gambling laws which are now coming into force. He piloted a new Youth Justice strategy and continues to work on youthwork issues.

“David helped to steer legislation to deal with Coercive Control through the Oireachtas, campaigns on Special Needs Education, and is currently calling for a Poet Laureate for the Houses of the Oireachtas.

“A deeply committed member of the Party, he leaves Fine Gael in a strong position to hold its seat in East Cork in the next General Election.

“David has promised to assist whoever the local Party nominates to contest the next election. 

“I wish David and his family all the best in the years ahead and a long and happy retirement, and know he will continue to serve Cork East and Fine Gael with distinction until then.”

Earlier this month Varadkar said that the significant number of TDs deciding not to run in the next election was a “natural turnover of people”.

On Virgin Media’s Tonight Show, Varadkar was asked whether he takes any responsibility for their exits.

“No. The reasons they’ve given are valid reasons,” he said.

“In between any election you have a natural turnover of people and, if you take the last election for example, which was a tough election for us, we elected five new TDs and two Senators.”

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