Junior Minister John Halligan has said that he is not contesting next month's General Election.

The Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development confirmed in a Facebook post that he is retiring from political life.

He said that having given over 30 years to politics he feels the time is right to start a new chapter and "devote more time to my family - my wife, children and grandchildren - all of whom have been an unfailing support to me".

He added: "It has truly been a profound honour to represent the people of Waterford at both local and national level throughout my career. I have served every single day in public office fighting for what I believed was right and working with determination on behalf of my constituents."

Mr Halligan was a member of the Independent Alliance in the Dáil along with Shane Ross, Finian McGrath, Kevin 'Boxer' Moran and Sean Canney.

Mr McGrath said yesterday that he would not be contesting the election, while Mr Moran said earlier this week that he would run as an unaligned independent in the election.

Mr Canney left the IA in 2018.