Sunday 22 January 2017

Senator Fidelma Healy Eames to retire from politics and back Jack and Jill founder Jonathan Irwin to take her seat

Published 16/03/2016 | 19:20

Fidelma Healy Eames
Fidelma Healy Eames
Senator Fidelma Healy Eames
Jonathan Irwin

ONE of the Seanad’s most colourful members is to retire from politics and back Jack and Jill founder Jonathan Irwin to take her seat.

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Senator Fidelma Healy Eames confirmed this evening that she will not seek to retain the Seanad place she has held since 2007.

Ms Healy Eames, who contested the General Election in Galway West, said it had not been an easy decision to make but she intends to step back from politics completely.

“I’m grateful to the Oireachtas members offering to nominate me to re-contest the Seanad,” she said.

Mr Irwin had announced that he would be a candidate in the General Election for Renua Ireland but later changed his mind, citing health reasons.

His wife, Mary Ann O'Brien, is current a Taosieach’s nominee in the Seanad.

Ms Healy Eames said he would be “a champion for disabilities and home care for sick children”.

“I wish him every success in the upcoming elections. His voice and experience as an advocate is vital in the Seanad. The struggle of children and adults with disabilities remains a cause close to my heart.”

She added: “It has been a privilege to contribute to the wellbeing of our people and our country.”

Ms Healy Eames was a strong advocate of pro-life issues and lost the Fine Gael whip after voting against the party on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill in 2013.

In the build up to the marriage referendum she tweeted that same-sex marriage could lead to the end of Mothers’ Day celebrations.

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