Joe Higgins TD 'not retiring' from politics despite deciding against running in election
Joe Higgins TD says he will not stand at the next General Election, but he is not 'retiring' from politics.
Higgins, who is due to turn 67, made his decision not to stand earlier this year.
The Deputy for Dublin West and former MEP said the impending byelection brought forward the timing of an announcement he was likely to make.
His statement said he believes “the baton of elected representation should be carried on by another generation of highly capable representatives such as Councillor Ruth Coppinger in Dublin West and Paul Murphy MEP who substituted for Joe in the European Parliament for the last three years, showing great political ability and commitment”.
Coppinger, is one of the favourites to win the seat left vacant by the resignation of Independent TD Patrick Nulty.
Higgins added: “I will continue to fight for the people of Dublin West as a public representative over the next two years as I have tried to do since I was first elected to Dublin County Council twenty three years ago.”
Higgins was first elected to the Dáil in 1997.
He lost his seat in 2007 but he won one of three Dublin seats in the European Parliament in 2009. He regained his Dáil seat in 2011.
Mr Higgins said he would remain active in politics.