Labour TD Pat Rabbitte confirms he will not contest upcoming General Election
Labour TD Pat Rabbitte has confirmed that he will not contest the upcoming General Election.
Mr Rabbitte told party officials today that he has decided to step down after over 25 years in office.
The Dublin South West TD has agonised over whether to defend his seat after he was dropped from Cabinet by Labour Party leader Tánaiste Joan Burton in July. He had been appointed Communications Minister by the then Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore in 2011.
Mr Rabbitte claimed at the time that he was dropped because of his age. He is known to have a fraught relationship with Ms Burton.
Labour’s other sitting TD in Dublin South West is Eamonn Maloney.
Party leader Joan Burton was among the first to pay tribute to Mr Rabbitte tonight, describing him as an "outstanding parliamentarian".
"While Pat has had a significant national profile, he has always worked hard for the entire community in Dublin South West. I know that amidst a lengthy political career, one of his proudest achievements was his involvement in the first National Drugs Strategy during the Rainbow Government, in an effort to address the drugs scourge in Dublin.
"He will also be long remembered for the forensic and painstaking work he did as a member of the DIRT Inquiry," she said in a statement issued this evening.
"Pat's wit and insight are unique and I am sure that while he is exiting politics, he will not be lost to Irish public life. There is no doubt that Pat has been one of the truly outstanding parliamentarians of his generation," she added.