Ireland: Daly shocks FG as he quits politics to spend more time with family - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Ireland Daly shocks FG as he quits politics to spend more time with family

08:15  20 september  2019
08:15  20 september  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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a man wearing a suit and tie: Jim Daly: His decision will shock many Fine Gael colleagues. Photo: Tom Burke Jim Daly: His decision will shock many Fine Gael colleagues. Photo: Tom Burke

Fine Gael minister Jim Daly is to retire from politics in a move that will cause major surprise within his party, the Irish Independent can reveal.

The Cork South West TD has decided not to run in the next general election, saying he is no longer able to balance political life with having a young family.

He informed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of his decision earlier this week and will this morning issue a hand-written letter to supporters in his constituency.

"This has been an extremely difficult decision for me to make. I have decided to leave public life to enable me to spend more time with my young family," the letter states.

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Mr Daly has been a TD for the constituency since 2011 and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People for the past two years.

He was already selected as one of the party's candidates for the next election.

He lives in Clonakilty and has five young children - but says as a minister he was regularly spending between three and five days a week in Dublin.

"It has been an absolute honour and privilege to represent the people of west Cork and the Fine Gael party as a county councillor, mayor of the county, TD in Dáil Éireann and a Minister of State at the Department of Health, during the past 16 years.

"While I didn't succeed in changing the world, the countless times I was privileged to change someone's world remain the greatest honour of my life," Mr Daly's note says.

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Spending time with family is one of the best ways to create memorable experiences. Even projects around the house can be a great way to get everyone involved and working towards a goal. Encourage your family to spend time together by looking out for opportunities to do things that everyone would

Fine Gael would have viewed his seat as a safe bet. The other deputies in the three-seat constituency are Fianna Fáil's Margaret Murphy O'Mahony and Independent TD Michael Collins.

The party is now expected to continue with Senator Tim Lombard on the ticket and possibly a second candidate.

It is the second blow to Mr Varadkar's election chances in recent weeks. The Irish Independent previously revealed how Waterford TD John Deasy has also decided to step back from politics.

In a message to TDs and senators yesterday, Mr Varadkar acknowledged that his party was now "neck and neck" with Fianna Fáil ahead of a possible election in May 2020.

Mr Daly was seen in political circles as an ally of the Taoiseach and helped his leadership bid in 2017. He was rewarded with a ministry in the Department of Health and could have expected to continue in a similar role if Fine Gael was re-elected.

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Presenting "demanding job" and " time with family " as opposing forces contributes to the false choice duality so prevalent in the popular narrative. And since often the person in question intends to find another job, " spending time with my family " comes across as a fallback -- there until something

Why Mike Baird REALLY quit politics : Former NSW premier reveals shocking reason he decided to step away from the job after almost three years. Mr Baird was a big user of social media during his time as premier of NSW. He even used Twitter to announce his planned exit from politics in January.

In a video to be posted online today, Mr Daly acknowledges his exit will come as "a shock and a surprise for some".

It is not clear what he plans to do next but he previously worked a teacher.

He was first elected to the Dáil in 2011 and was appointed chairman of the Oireachtas Children's Committee in 2016. In that role, he regularly spoke out on the issue of internet safety for children.

As minister, he was responsible for overseeing significant changes to the Fair Deal scheme which will come before the Dáil next year.

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