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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 29 May, 2020

Yet another Labour TD is stepping down at the next election

Robert Dowds is not running in Dublin Mid-West next time out.

Robert Dowds
Robert Dowds
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

LABOUR TD ROBERT Dowds has confirmed he will not run in the next general election in Dublin Mid-West, saying the party has a better chance of winning a seat with one candidate.

The constituency elected two Labour TDs in 2011 but Dowds said that his colleague Joanna Tuffy is best-placed to hold a seat for the party at the next general election.

“In the last general election we won two seats on just over 30 per cent of the vote,” he told this afternoon.

That’s not going to happen again. My colleague has a better chance of winning the seat and I am standing back.

Dowds said he was very proud of Labour’s role in government over the last four years.

He said it was entirely his own decision to step down, but admitted the party had shown him research indicating it could not hold two seats.

Not that I would go on any opinion poll but it would be more difficult to get votes where I got them last time and for that reason she [Joanna Tuffy] has a better chance.

Dowds was first elected in 2011 having served on South Dublin County Council for 12 years.

He has served on the Dáil’s powerful Public Accounts Committee for the last four years.

The former teacher is the seventh Labour TD to declare they will not stand at the next election with opinion polls indicating the party is on course to lose many of the seats it won in 2011.

Dowds said he would serve out his time as public representative until an election is called and may go back to teaching when he finishes.

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On whether he was finished with politics, Dowds said:

One never knows. Sometimes the door can suddenly open when you don’t expect it.

In a statement, Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton described Dowds as “a man of integrity and a steadfast advocate for his constituents”.

“As a Labour Party TD, and as somebody who represents a working class community, it would have been easy for Robert to do as some of his political opponents have done – to pretend that there was an easy way out of the mess,” she said.

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

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Hugh O'Connell

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