Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin won’t contest next election

‘I made a commitment to my family and my close supporters after the last General Election in 2016 that I would not seek re-election again, and I am sticking to this promise.’

Sligo News File.

Sligo-Leitrim TD Tony McLoughlin is retiring from the Dail at the next election.

Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin.

The Fine Gael deputy and Assistant Party Whip, who is 69, announced that he would not be putting his name forward as a candidate at the next election.

He said: “After almost 45 years in public office, I believe that the time is now right for me to begin to step away from politics in order to spend more time with my family and my wonderful grandchildren whose support down through the years has been incredible.

“I made a commitment to my family and my close supporters after the last General Election in 2016 that I would not seek re-election again, and I am sticking to this promise.”

McLoughlin began his career in politics when he was elected to Sligo County Council in 1976, a body on which he served as chairman on two occasions. He was elected to Sligo Borough Council in 1979, succeeding his father, Pat on the authority. He served four separate terms as Mayor of Sligo.

“Throughout my career, both locally and on national issues, I have always tried my very best, always fought for what was right for my constituents and always did so in a respectful manner,” he said.

“The large amounts of support I have received from the general public at election time has been one of the proudest aspects of my career. On that basis, I want to thank the people of Sligo and Leitrim. I am honoured to have served you.

“As a humble backbencher, I will leave office safe in the knowledge that I am leaving a constituency that has improved massively from where it was after the recession in 2011

and with its future development secured as a part of Ireland 2040, I leave with a strong record of delivery for my constituents and also with an ‘Act of the Oireachtas’ on the Statute book.”

McLoughlin was earlier today warmly applauded for his work towards outlawing onshore fracking. The Dail backed his historic private member’s Bill to prohibit hydraulic fracturing in Ireland last year, following which it was signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins.