'Noonan will not stand again but will stay on until election'
Michael Noonan is still "undecided" if he will seek re-election to the Dáil, but Fine Gael sources say he informed the party internally he will not stand at the next election.
However, sources said Mr Noonan informed Fine Gael he would "stay on until the general election is called".
"Minister Noonan has said, several times in the last few months at party meetings, that he will not be contesting the general election," a source told the 'Limerick Life' newspaper.
"He's going on 74, he's out. He will stay on until the general election is called.
"The last thing we need is a by-election."
Mr Noonan has steered a path through economic woes, despite several health scares in recent years, including receiving treatment for a form of skin cancer.
His departure from politics would be seen as a major negative for Limerick, which has benefited from thousands of jobs through his presence at Cabinet.
"It'll be a huge loss to Limerick," the source said.