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FG junior minister Jim Daly announces he will not run in the next election

Daly has served as junior minister for mental health and older people for the past two years.

Image: Sam Boal

FINE GAEL TD Jim Daly has announced he will not contest the next general election in a bid to spend more time with his family. 

The Cork TD, who has been in politics for more than a decade and a half, made the announcement in a video shared by the Southern Star this morning. 

Daly has served as junior minister for mental health and older people for the past two years. 

“Today I have a somewhat unusual announcement to make but I do wish to confirm for everybody that it is not my intention to go forward at the next general election,” Daly said. 

“This announcement, I appreciate, will come as a shock and a surprise to some and I’m quite sure it will be a very welcome development for some others, but irrespective of it, it has been a very difficult decision for me to make purely on personal grounds. 

“I have found it increasingly difficult to balance my life as a worker, as a career politician and indeed putting the politics and the people of West Cork first for the last 16 years. 

“And now I want to concentrate on my five young children and put them as my top priority, and in order to this properly I cannot continue in public life, spending three, four, five days in Dublin.”

Stellar

In a statement today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he “has done a stellar job” in his role as minister over the past two years. 

“Jim Daly met me earlier this week to inform me of his decision not to contest the next General Election,” he said. 

“Jim is a close colleague and has done a stellar job as Minister of State for Mental Health & Older People. I have always admired his directness, his capacity for independent thought and his unique way of doing things.

“Fine Gael was the strongest party in Cork South West in the last general election with 32% of the vote. We have an excellent candidate already selected in Senator Tim Lombard, and we will build on our last performance in the next election.”

Daly is the second Fine Gael TD to announce his retirement from politics in the past month after Waterford TD John Deasy announced in August that he would not contest the next election. 

Last weekend, a Red C poll commissioned by the Sunday Business Post showed Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil were almost neck and neck, with Fianna Fáil’s support increasing to 28% against a single percentage point increase that put support for Fine Gael at 29%. 

Daly said it was “an honour and a privilege” to have served as a TD for his constituency and in his impassioned speech he added it was “one of the greatest honours of my life to date”. 

“Here’s to the future and the next chapter in my life and I’ll obviously continue to work as a TD until the next election, and look forward to helping and supporting a new face take up the challenge for the Fine Gael party in West Cork after the next election. “

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