Councillor Pat Vance is retiring from politics after a career spanning 34 years.
The Bray man has decided not to run in the forthcoming local election in May, and will make the official announcement tonight (Wednesday) at a Fianna Fáil selection convention.
'I decided it was the right time to go,' said Cllr Vance, in a year in which he is Cathaoirleach of both Bray Municipal District and Wicklow County Council. He said that it was a very difficult decision to make, given his decades in local politics.
Cllr Vance is not making any plans to retire from his business any time soon though, and will remain at Vance's on Florence Road to repair the shoes and boots of the people of Bray for the foreseeable future.
'There are things I would have liked to stay for,' he said. 'The completion of the Florentine Centre, for example, and a sports venue at old Fassaroe, but there will always be important projects under way and reasons to remain on.'
At his appointment as Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council last June, his Fianna Fáil colleague Gerry Walsh said that Cllr Vance has 'an in-depth and, some would say, unparalleled knowledge of the workings of council.'
Cllr Vance said this week that he plans to pursue some interests of his own as well as within the community in the coming months and years.
Speaking to the Bray People in 2014, Cllr Vance would not be drawn on whether he would run in 2019. 'Five years is a long time in politics,' he said then. Prior to running for office, Ardee Street native Pat was a player with Bray Wanderers until he retired from the game in 1984. He successfully sought election in 1985 with Fianna Fáil. He was once again re-elected to Wicklow County Council in 2014 and held a seat on Bray Town Council until its abolition. He and his wife Mary live at their Putland Road home, while their children and grandchildren all live locally.