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Sinn Féin's Jonathan O'Brien won't be contesting the next general election

The Cork North Central TD said he feels the “time is right to pursue new personal challenges and opportunities”.

O'Brien speaking at a recent Oireachtas committee hearing over matters related to the FAI.
O'Brien speaking at a recent Oireachtas committee hearing over matters related to the FAI.
Image: Oireachtas

SINN FÉIN TD Jonathan O’Brien has said he won’t be contesting the next general election.

The Cork North Central TD said in a statement that he felt the “time is right to pursue new personal challenges and opportunities”.

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald, meanwhile, said O’Brien had “earned a reputation as one of the strongest and most genuine voices in Irish politics” during his nine years in the Dáil. 

The Cork native was first elected to the Dáil in the 2011 general election, earning the most first preference votes in that ballot in Cork North Central.

Prior to that, he served as a councillor on Cork City Council from 2000 to 2011.

In recent times, he has put in strong performances in his role as a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport when it came to matters related to the Football Association of Ireland and its recent woes.

Sinn Féin will now choose a new candidate to contest the Cork North Central seat, with a selection convention for the upcoming general election set to take place on Saturday 18 January.

O’Brien said: “I have always served in public office to the best of my ability as a proud member of Sinn Féin, as an Irish Republican and a socialist.

I believe it is crucial that the people of Cork North Central continue to be represented by a Sinn Féin TD and I will play my part in making sure that we retain this seat by remaining an active member of Sinn Féin, and assisting the party in whatever way I can into the future.

McDonald added: “Someone of Jonathan’s talent and calibre will undoubtedly be missed as a public representative, but I know that Jonathan will remain a proud and committed member of Sinn Féin and will work to retain the Sinn Féin seat in Cork North Central and contribute to the party in other ways into the future.

Jonathan has given a firm commitment that he will continue to serve the people of his constituency to the best of his ability until the next General Election and I have no doubt that he will do that over the coming period.

In the recent by-election in that constituency, Sinn Féin candidate Thomas Gould came third with Fianna Fáil’s Pádraig O’Sullivan winning the seat vacated by his party colleague Billy Kelleher. 

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Sean Murray

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