This evening I informed the Fianna Fáil organisation in Dublin Bay North of my decision not to contest the next General Election.
Having devoted all my adult life to public service, I have come to the view that now is the right time for me to step down from frontline politics.
Following my first election to Dublin City Council in 1985, it was a tremendous honour to go on to serve as a Senator, a Dáil Deputy, a Minister of State, and as Lord Mayor of Dublin.
I am extremely grateful to my constituents for their loyal support down through the years and wish to thank them for the trust they placed in me to be their representative in Dáil Éireann.
Over the course of my time in politics, I found it enormously fulfilling to be able to give advice and assistance to hundreds of individuals, groups, and organisations in helping them secure the benefits and services to which they were entitled.
I am also proud that I could carry on a family tradition of public service in the constituency dating right back to the 1950s.
I am deeply grateful to my wife Orla, my 4 adult children, my extended family, as well as the many loyal party members and lifelong friends for their unfailing help and encouragement in all my election campaigns.
I remain fully committed to Fianna Fáil as a democratic party, at the centre of Irish political life, advancing a caring social philosophy, and capable of resolving the many and varied problems that now we now face.