FORMER Defence Minister Willie O'Dea has said he is surprised and disappointed by the number of his party colleagues who are not seeking re-election to the Dail and predicted that more will quit politics.
Mr O'Dea said: "If all the senior people stand down, the question is will we have enough left to be intact as a party.
"It's like the flight out of Egypt. It's been an horrendous exodus. It's very demoralising, not only for the people who are staying, but for the troops on the ground.
"I am surprised and frankly I'm disappointed."
Speaking to the 'Limerick Leader' -- the newspaper at the centre of his resignation controversy last February -- Mr O'Dea also predicted further announcements of Fianna Fail TDs hanging up their boots before the General Election.
"Inevitably. Some people will wait until you can see the whites in their eyes, until the very last second. I would imagine we haven't seen the last of it."