Galway East’s Ciarán Cannon made the announcement “after a twenty-year career” which included being the last leader of the now-defunct Progressive Democrats, founded by Des O’Malley and Mary Harney.

In a statement, Mr Cannon said it would be “remiss” not to comment on the “toxicity” in politics in a statement announcing his resignation.

“I have decided to leave politics and not stand in the next general election,” Mr Cannon said.

“I really enjoyed politics and had the privilege of working with some very dedicated and talented people.

“I think after 20 years in any role you reach a point where you’ve given everything you can give. I have a lot of respect for the people who have voted for me time and time again, and either I’m all for them or I’m not.”

Other Fine Gaelers dropping out at the next election include John Paul Phelan (Carlow-Kilkenny), David Stanton (Cork East), Michael Creed (Cork North West), Joe McHugh (Donegal), Richard Bruton (Dublin Bay North). ), Brendan Griffin (Kerry), Charlie Flanagan (Laois Offaly), Fergus O’Dowd (Louth) and Paul Kehoe (Wexford).

“I ran for election to make a difference and do something of real value to society,” Mr. Cannon said.

“This is the inspiration for the vast majority of us in public life, and I am confident that in another role I can continue to make a difference with renewed purpose and passion.”

He said he had spent the last few weeks thinking about my future.

“I spoke to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar shortly after Christmas and several times since then. He was very supportive and gave me the time and space to make this decision.

“It would be remiss of me not to comment on the difference between life as a politician today and twenty years ago,” he added.

“That was also a factor in my decision to leave. There is a rudeness, a toxicity in politics today that was barely noticeable twenty years ago.

“None of us want to be put on a pedestal or treated differently. All we ask is that you be treated with the same courtesy and respect as anyone else doing their job.”

He continued;

“Yes, politicians are subject to public scrutiny, and rightly so, but what we are experiencing now goes far beyond that and can be deeply damaging to our well-being.” Sometimes it feels like it’s open season on you and your family. This is neither acceptable nor sustainable if we want good people to choose politics as a career.”

Mr Cannon was first elected to the Dáil in 2011 and has thanked his family, colleagues and the people of Galway.

He was also a senator and minister of state in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Finally, I would like to thank my wife and son for giving me the love and support I need to do this job well. My wife is my guiding light, I can’t describe how crucial she has been to my work,” he said.

“My son was only seven years old when I started my career. He grew up surrounded by politics and has become a trusted advisor in so many aspects of the profession, especially since my work is for his generation, a generation that gives me so much hope for our future.

“Our Irish young people are highly educated and motivated and have a deep sense of their shared responsibility to care for our planet. We are now in very safe hands and for me this is the greatest legacy of my twenty years.”

In a statement, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Mr Cannon was “one of the hardest-working and most committed TDs in the Dáil”.

“Ciarán is a gentleman who will be missed by all who know him or work with him in the Dáil. I wish him all the best for his life after politics.

“I would particularly like to thank Ciarán for the role he played in helping Ireland secure election to the UN Security Council. I have always admired the way in which, as a TD in a rural constituency, he promoted climate action, environmental protection and biodiversity, even if it was not always popular.”

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