'Miracle' recovery for Labour's Jimmy Harte
Former senator Jimmy Harte has said that after a tough two years he is "almost back to square one".
The popular Donegal politician resigned from Seanad this week as he continues to focus on recovery from a major health scare in 2013.
He was found collapsed on a Dublin street after an Ireland soccer match, underwent emergency surgery and spent time on a life-support machine.
Speaking publicly for the first time since, Mr Harte told the Irish Independent he is now hopeful that he might someday return to politics but "right now it's about getting better and continuing to get better".
"It has been a tough two years but I am almost back to square one. I'm obviously delighted because it has been hard," he said. His wife Mary said described his recovery as "nothing short of a miracle".
The couple were travelling to a family function in Westport last night and she said it was first time he had been able to sit in the front of the car.
"It's the first time he has been able to sit up front alongside me in the car since the accident because he has been in a wheelchair in the back up until now, so even those small things are big things for us," she said.
"It has been a very tough journey but we feel we are getting there now. The old Jimmy is back, laughing, cracking jokes and chatting again."
A by-election to replace the Labour Party member on the Seanad's Industrial and Commercial Panel will take place in November.
Fine Gael will back a Labour Party candidate in the vote.