Taoiseach pays tribute to retiring Gay Mitchell
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has paid tribute to Fine Gael’s Dublin MEP Gay Mitchell who has revealed will not seek re-election in 2014.
Mr Kenny said: “Gay Mitchell informed me recently of his decision not to contest the 2014 European Parliament elections.
“Gay Mitchell is politician of deep conviction who has always approached his many roles in public life with great commitment and integrity.
Earlier, speaking in Strasbourg, Mr Mitchell said: "When I first stood for the European Parliament in 2004 I did so at the request of the Party Leader, as Fine Gael only had three Dáil seats out of 43 in Dublin, one of which was mine.
“In 2009, Dublin was reduced from a four seater to a three seater and I stood again. Next year I will be 10 years in Parliament, and I have already served 26 years as a TD, having been first elected in my 20s.
“Fine Gael now has 16 TDs, three Senators and 36 councillors in Dublin. Taking all things into account I believe this is a good time to allow new candidates to emerge.
“I am making this decision public so as to allow for consultations and arrangements to be made well in advance," he added.