Frank Fahey refuses to rule out another Dail run
FORMER Fianna Fail junior minister Frank Fahey is refusing to rule out running again at the next general election.
He said he was still working with Fianna Fail in his former Galway West constituency and he praised party leader Micheal Martin for doing a "great job".
"The only comment I'd make is that I am active in trying to rebuild the party, helping out at local level and national level," he said.
Fianna Fail is aiming to regain two seats in the five-seater constituency, with just former deputy leader Eamon O Cuiv representing the party there at the moment.
Mr Fahey said he was happy to be out of politics but said this did not mean he was ruling out a return to it.
"It doesn't mean anything. I was 40 years an elected representative and almost 30 in the Dail. So it's good to get a break," he said.
Last month, Mr Fahey received an apology and a six-figure settlement of High Court actions over unfounded allegations against him in a series of articles published by the Mail group of newspapers.
He gets an annual TD's pension of €51,411 and a ministerial pension of €53,578.
He voluntarily surrendered €5,204 of his ministerial pension in 2011.
Mr Fahey is also entitled to a teacher's pension from his former post in Gort Community School, Galway, which was held open for him after he was elected to the Dail in 1982. But he said before the general election that he was giving this pension to charity.
Mr Fahey was one of the senior Fianna Fail TDs who ran again in the last general election rather than opting to retire. But his first-preference vote, which had been over 7,700 in the 2002 general election and over 5,800 in the 2007 general election, collapsed to 3,448 and he lost his seat.
Despite his absence from the Dail, Mr Fahey flew out to Luxembourg last September for the European Court of Justice's oral hearing into the Galway Outer City Bypass. If Mr Fahey decided to run again, he would be seeking votes from his Galway city base. It would pose no threat to Mr O Cuiv who has support across the constituency.