Friday 24 January 2020

Disability Minister Finian McGrath makes shock decision not to run in general election

Finian McGrath Photo: David Conachy
Finian McGrath Photo: David Conachy

Philip Ryan and Hugh O’Connell

Disability Minister Finian McGrath has made the shock decision not to run in the general election.

Mr McGrath has been a TD since 2002 and has run in six Dáil elections.

In a statement, Mr McGrath said he had given the matter “careful consideration” and said stepping down was the right decision for himself and his family. 

“I am far from retiring and will remain involved in political activism, supporting disability issues,” he said.

“I hope to spend some time encouraging the 13pc of Ireland’s population who have some form of disability to get involved in politics at a local or nation level,” he added.

He was first elected to the Dáil in the then Dublin North Central constituency in 2002 after failing to get elected on two previous elections. He was re-elected in the three following elections.

Mr McGrath has long been an advocate for people with disabilities before he entered politics and campaigned tirelessly on their behalf on becoming a TD.

He joined the Independent Alliance before the 2016 General Election with his close political ally Shane Ross. The group agreed to enter government with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and remained in place when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar succeeded the Mayo TD.

Opinion poll research carried out by Mr McGrath in his Dublin Bay North constituency showed he would be in a battle to win the final seat. He is not being replaced on the ticket by any of his supporters.

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