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Here are all the Labour TDs stepping down at the next election (so far)

Will there be any more?

WITH CURRENT POLLS showing Labour is likely to lose a lot of seats at the next general election it’s perhaps no surprise that some TDs are opting not to stand again.

The party is at 7 per cent according to the latest Red C/Sunday Business Post poll, well short of the 19 per cent it won in 2011 when it secured a record 37 seats.

In the four years since then Labour has lost five TDs, who have quit the party for a variety of reasons but primarily because of the junior coalition partner’s decisions in government.

Its current Dáil numbers stand at 32 and of those six have now indicated that they won’t be going for re-election:

1. Michael Conaghan 

90048160 Source: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Dublin South-Central TD took the second of two Labour seats in the constituency in 2011 and told his wife that if he ever got elected to the Dáil he would only do one term.

The 70-year-old former teacher was a long-serving Labour councillor and told the Irish Times last month that he found the Dáil a “disappointing” place to work with more tangible work done on the city council.

Sitting TD Eric Byrne and councillor Rebecca Moynihan have put themselves forward for the selection convention in a constituency that’s gone from five seats to four.

2. Eamon Gilmore 

The former tánaiste and Labour leader announced his retirement from politics at the beginning of June. He has been a TD for Dún Laoghaire since 1989 and led his party to a historic seat haul in 2011. But he was badly bruised by his time as tánaiste and resigned after Labour’s disastrous local and European elections performance last year.

00150947 Source: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Speaking after his decision, Gilmore told RTÉ last month:

Nobody goes on forever. At some stage I was going to have to decide to finish with politics and I decided now was the appropriate time to do that. It gives the party the best part of a year to put a new candidate in place.

Senator Aideen Hayden, party activist David Traynor and Labour councillors Deirdre Kingston and Carrie Smyth have put their names for the selection in Dún Laoghaire.

3. Sean Kenny 

The Dublin North-East TD’s constituency has become part of Dublin Bay North where junior minister Áodhán Ó Ríordáin is expected to run. Kenny declined to comment when asked if he was stepping down, but a Labour spokesperson confirmed he would be earlier today.

The 72-year-old was a long-time member of Dublin City Council and formerly a TD for Dublin North-East between 1992 and 1997. During this spell in the Dáil he called for ‘cowardly’ internet trolls to get up to two years in prison and was responsible for one of the most famous tweets in Irish political history:

(The egg mystery was later solved)

As well as Ó Ríordáin, councillors Jane Horgan-Jones and Alison Gilliland are also likely to put their names forward at the constituency selection convention.

4. Ruairí Quinn 

The former Labour leader was first out of the blocks last year, announcing that he planned to step down as a TD for Dublin South-East at the next election just before he was dropped as education minister in July.

https://vine.co/v/MUWIUHJIYtV

The 69-year-old has been an almost consistent presence in the Oireachtas since he was first elected to the Seanad in 1976. As well as leading the Labour party for five years between 1997 and 2002 he also held three different cabinet portfolios, including finance and enterprise in the 1990s.

Junior minister Kevin Humphreys will be seeking re-election in the renamed Dublin Bay South constituency with Labour senator Ivana Bacik also thought to be interested in running.

5. Pat Rabbitte

Rabbitte is another former party leader who announced earlier this week that he will not be seeking re-election in Dublin South-West having served as a TD there since 1989. The former communications minister was dropped from cabinet last year amid reports of having a face “like thunder”. Although he hasn’t confirmed if that was the case:

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

The former trade unionist led Labour from 2002 to 2007 and was also a minister of state in the 1990s. He has maintained an active media presence since he was relieved of his ministerial responsibilities last year, but he WON’T be writing a steamy novel.

His departure paves the way for sitting TD Eamonn Maloney to be the Labour candidate in the competitive five-seat constituency.

6. Jack Wall 

The Labour parliamentary party chairperson announced earlier today that he will not be seeking re-election in Kildare South.

00092350 Source: Graham Hughes/RollingNews.ie

A former electrician and county councillor, Wall has been described as “one of politics’ true gentlemen” by his party leader Joan Burton today.

His departure paves the way for his son Mark, who is a Kildare county councillor, to run for his seat at the next general election.

Read: Pat Rabbitte will NOT be contesting the next general election

Read: Here’s what happened when we interviewed this Labour TD entirely in emoji

Read: Labour’s latest social media campaign isn’t going well

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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