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Pat Rabbitte will NOT be contesting the next general election

The former Labour leader and minister could not be drawn on the issue recently.

Updated at 11.50pm

FORMER LABOUR PARTY leader and minister Pat Rabbitte will not be contesting the next general election.

Rabbitte announced the decision to his local constituency this evening.

His exit, together with those of former leaders Eamon Gilmore and Ruairí Quinn, will see much of Labour’s old guard not present as the campaign for election to Dáil Eireann gears up towards the end of 2015.

When speaking to recently Rabbitte could not be drawn definitively on whether or not he planned to run again.

He said that he had initially planned to retire following his demotion from cabinet last year, but had then changed his mind.

Video / YouTube

Rabbitte, who was first elected to the Dáil in 1989, was dropped as a Labour cabinet minister when Joan Burton took over from Gilmore last year.

She has paid tribute to her former leader on Twitter this evening.

Rabbitte first joined Labour officially in 1999 when the party merged with Democratic Left.

He became leader in 2002 but stood down from the post after the 2007 general election.

Read: What really annoys Pat Rabbitte?

Read: Was Brian Cowen a good finance minister?

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