David Stanton TD.

Stanton will not be seeking re-election

A second Cork Fine Gael TD has announced that they will not be contesting the next general election.

Cork East TD David Stanton informed his party colleagues of the decision at Monday night’s Fine Gael Cork East AGM. His announcement comes several weeks after Fine Gael Cork North West Michael Creed confirmed he would not be contesting the next general election.

3 other Fine Gael deputies, John Paul Phelan (Carlow–Kilkenny) Brendan Griffin (Kerry) and Joe McHugh (Donegal), have also said they will not run again.

In a statement, David Stanton TD said it has been the “utmost privilege" to have represented the constituents of Cork East since his first general election in 1997 and at the 5 subsequent elections.

He said: “I will continue to work for my constituents in the same manner until the next general election. A highlight of my career was being appointed Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration in 2016.

“I have informed the Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Fine Gael HQ of my decision and I thank them fully for their support.

“I would also like to acknowledge all those who have supported me and worked with me in my role as a TD. It has been an absolute privilege to represent the people of Cork East as their public representative.”

He continued: “My job is only made possible by my loving family. They provided me with great fortitude throughout my time as public representative for which I am eternally grateful. I will be working with the Fine Gael party to ensure we hold and build on our representation at the next local elections and indeed, hold the Fine Gael seat in the Cork East constituency at the next general election.”

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “David is a brilliant TD and was an excellent minister of state for four years. He has served his constituency and his country diligently since his first election in 1997. He has been re-elected five times, which is a considerable achievement. He remains our party Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade & Employment in the Dáil.

“Anyone who has worked alongside David knows he is a true gentleman, and also one of the hardest-working TDs in Fine Gael and in the Oireachtas. There’s never any fuss, just hard work done well and consistently.”

He continued: “When I was first elected Taoiseach, I re-appointed David as Minister of State at the Department of Justice & Equality, with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration, and Integration. He was an excellent minister and helped to progress the new gambling laws which are now coming into force. He piloted a new youth justice strategy and continues to work on youthwork issues.”

He concluded: “David helped to steer legislation to deal with coercive control through the Oireachtas, campaigns on special needs education, and is currently calling for a Poet Laureate for the Houses of the Oireachtas. I wish David and his family all the best in the years ahead and a long and happy retirement, and know he will continue to serve Cork East and Fine Gael with distinction until then.”