Wexford TD John Browne tipped to stand aside to let son run for Dáil
Fianna Fáil TD John Browne is expected to announce his retirement from politics in Wexford this evening, though he insists he is still undecided.
Mr Browne, who has served the people of Enniscorthy for more than 30 years, will meet his party colleagues in his constituency tonight when he will discuss whether to run in the next General Election, now expected in the spring.
First elected to the Dáil in 1982, the Marshalltown man has been re-elected at every general election since.
Party sources suggested that the former junior minister will make the announcement of his departure tonight.
It is expected that his son, Cllr James Browne, will run in his place at the next election.
However, Mr Browne insisted that he is still "50-50" about stepping aside.
"I will discuss it with my party colleagues and will make a decision after that," he told the Irish Independent.
"I am getting a bit old, but I am sure they will want me to stay around," said the 67-year-old.
"I'm a bit like Henry Shefflin - nobody wants me to go.
Over the course of his career, Mr Browne has held a number of government and opposition positions. Not long after he was first elected he was appointed Assistant Chief Whip.
The election of Albert Reynolds as Taoiseach in 1992 saw him become Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food.
In 1993 he was moved to the post of Minister of State at the Department of the Environment with special responsibil- ity for Environmental Protection.
In 2002, he was appointed Minister of State at the Dep- artment of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and in 2004 he rose to the role of Minister of State at the Dep- artment of Agriculture.