Independent TD Peter Mathews has been diagnosed with cancer
The Dublin-Rathdown politician will shortly undergo treatment - but intends to contest the election
Independent TD Peter Mathews has been diagnosed with cancer - but says he still intends to contest the General Election.
Mr Mathews, a candidate in Dublin-Rathdown, today confirmed that he was given the "unexpected" diagnosis of oesophageal cancer last month.
"As a candidate running for re-election in the 2016 General Election, I believe it is only fair that I inform my constituents and the public of a recent development," he said.
"In January I had to go for a routine medical examination which resulted in an unexpected diagnosis of oesophageal cancer. Following on from this initial diagnosis I underwent further tests in order to establish what the necessary treatment would be, as well as a prognosis for recovery. These further tests were only completed at the end of last wee," Mr Mathews said in a statement this afternoon.
"The positive outcome is that with the necessary treatment the cancer is curable, and I expect to be back in full health on completion of treatment over the next number of month," he added.
Mr Mathews, who lost the Fine Gael whip after voting against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, said his ability to campaign will be limited. But he said he still intends to defend his seat in the three seat constituency.
"My treatment will commence in the next few days, and while this will mean that my daily activities will be curtailed in the coming months, I have an excellent team in place who will continue to manage the office in my absence. During treatment I will continue to remain fully abreast of, and involved in, all relevant matters and decisions.
"I wish to reassure all of my constituents that in light of this diagnosis my decision to run for re-election has not been made lightly, and was only confirmed at the end of last week after careful consideration of all the relevant facts and prognosis.
"My commitment to representing the real interests of my constituents and of the Irish people remains as strong as ever, and if re-elected I will continue to work hard to secure the reforms necessary for greater transparency, accountability and fairness"