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John Halligan will not seek re-election and is retiring from politics

Shane Ross appeared to let the cat out of the bag yesterday by stating that Halligan will not seek re-election.

MINISTER OF STATE John Halligan has said that he will not be running again for election, and announced his retirement “from political life”.

The Waterford TD had previously indicated that he may not seek re-election.

In a statement released this morning, Halligan said that after 30 years in politics, that now is the time for him to retire.

“I now feel the time is right to start a new chapter and devote more time to my family – my wife, children and grandchildren – all of whom have been an unfailing support to me.”

It has truly been a profound honour to represent the people of Waterford at both local and national level throughout my career. 
 I have served every single day in public office fighting for what I believed was right and working with determination on behalf of my constituents.

He thanked the people of Waterford and said that it was “heartening” for him to step aside “at a time of regeneration, growth and renewed optimism in Waterford”.

Halligan’s Independent Alliance colleague Sports Minister Shane Ross appeared to prematurely announce Halligan’s news yesterday, stating:

“I am very, very sorry that Finian McGrath and John Halligan are not standing, but come polling day Independents will be very strong again”.

Ross told reporters yesterday that the Independent Alliance had not run its course despite Minister of State Kevin “Boxer” Moran resigning from the grouping to stand as an independent with no affiliation.

Minister of State Finian McGrath also announced yesterday that he is retiring from the Dáil.

While Ross denied it is the end of the Independent Alliance, the departure of Halligan will certainly signal otherwise.

The Independent Alliance have been in government with Fine Gael since the group of independents bartered a programme for government with former Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Halligan was one of the more colourful characters in the grouping, often speaking out against some government policies.

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He was supportive of the Occupied Territories Bill, pushed for euthanasia legislation, and in his early days in government told this publication “if I could bring in legislation to goddamn jail landlords, I would jail the bastards”.

Halligan also pushed to get the Waterford Cath lab opened in his constituency.

- with reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha

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