Fine Gael TD for Kerry Brendan Griffin has confirmed that he will not be contesting the next general election.
In a letter to party members and councillors last night, Mr Griffin said that after much consideration with his family he will not be seeking a nomination to stand in the next general election.
"The reasons for this is a straightforward one. I have two young sons and I want to be around them more for the remaining years of their childhood," he said.
Mr Griffin acknowledged Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar for his confidence in him in appointing him Minister of State for Tourism and Sport in 2017 and his subsequent appointment as Deputy Chief Whip.
First elected to the Dáil in 2011, speculation has surrounded his intentions, particularly since he was overlooked for the position of Chief Whip in December's Cabinet reshuffle.
In an interview with Radio Kerry's Kerry Today programme, Mr Griffin said he "hated" travelling abroad as junior minister and being away from his family for 17 hour days.
Covid and being at home three months in a row for the first time in years had shown him a different way of life, Mr Griffin told Jerry O'Sullivan.
"That taste of being at home, just being at home at night time, it really was an eye opener in terms of what the craziness of the previous three years entailed," he said.
He also liked being around his locality and where he is from, he said.
The chief whip’s job, based in Leinster House, would have suited him and he was disappointed not to get it.
Mr Griffin has no plans post politics, he told Kerry Today.
He has given 20 years to the party, he stressed, and will continue to work for the party making sure it will retain its seat in Kerry.