Fianna Fáil Leader, Micheál Martin TD, has commented on the announcement by Séamus Kirk TD that he will not contest the next general election.
He said: “I would like to pay tribute to Séamus Kirk following his decision not to contest the next general election.
“Séamus has been a TD for over 32 years and has been involved in the Fianna Fáil party for a lot longer, in that time he epitomised what it is to be a party member through his dedicated service. His unwavering commitment to the people of Louth, particularly the rural community, saw him returned in every general election since 1982. He has always been a strong advocate for rural communities and helped to shape much of Fianna Fáil’s policy in agriculture and horticulture. Séamus is a gentleman to his fingertips and he had been an extremely reassuring and steady presence in the Parliamentary Party.
“Séamus served with distinction as Ceann Comhairle between 2009 and 2011, Séamus also served as Fianna Fáil Chairperson and as Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture. The esteem in which Séamus is held by all sides of the political divide was evidenced in his time as Ceann Comhairle where he commanded deep respect from members across Leinster House.
“In recent times, I have worked closely with Séamus in highlighting the lack of progress in the construction of the proposed Narrow Water Bridge between Down and Louth, which would be an important social and economic role to play in on both sides of the border.
“Séamus is extremely popular across Louth as a public representative, as a former great in Gaelic football, and as an outstanding parliamentarian and servant of the people. I look forward to working with Séamus for the duration of this Dáil term, I wish him well for the future and I know he will continue to provide strong support and advice to me as party leader and to the wider party.”