Noel Dempsey to quit politics
Transport Minister Noel Dempsey is to stand down after 33 years as a Fianna Fail TD at next year's general election it was announced today.
His departure is the second high profile casualty for the governing party after Justice Minister Dermot Ahern announced he would not seek re-election late last month.
Mr Dempsey said: "I sincerely thank the people of Meath for their support over three decades.
"I also want to say a heartfelt thank you to my close and extended family and the many dedicated and committed members of Fianna Fail in Meath who canvassed for me in all of the elections over the years."
He added: "Everybody who worked with me and supported me over the years can share in the credit of our achievements. Whatever I achieved over the past 33 years of public life I have achieved with their support and guidance.
"It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the people of Meath as a Councillor and a TD and to serve my country as a Minister. I intend to continue to work hard for my constituency and the country up until the next election."