Ciarán Cannon announces he is not seeking reelection

Galway Daily news

Galway East TD Ciaran Cannon has announced that he will not be seeking reelection, citing the toxicity of modern politics as part of his decision.

The Fine Gael TD was first elected to the Dáil in 2011 and has held the posts of Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, and Minister of State with responsibility for the Diaspora and International Development.

In announcing that he would not be contesting the next election, Deputy Cannon said that after 20 years he has to consider whether he has given all he can give to the job.

“I sought election to make an impact, to do something of genuine value for society. That’s the inspiration for the vast majority of us in public life, and I’m confident that I can continue to have an impact in another role, with renewed purpose and passion.”

Speaking about why he was ending his career as a TD, Ciaran Cannon added that the political environment now is more toxic than when he was first elected.

“It would be remiss of me not to comment on the difference between being a politician now and twenty years ago. That’s also been a factor in my decision to leave.”

“There’s a coarseness, a toxicity in politics now that was barely palpable twenty years ago. None of us asks to be put on a pedestal, or to be treated any differently.”

“We just ask to be treated with the same civility and respect as anyone else doing their job.

“Yes, politicians are subject to public scrutiny, and rightly so, but what we are experiencing right now goes far beyond that and can be deeply damaging to our wellbeing.”

“At times it feels like it’s open season on you and your family. That’s not acceptable, nor indeed sustainable, if we want to have good people choosing politics as a career.”

Ciarán Cannon said that he is proud of the work on further education and reform he was first tasked with as Minister of State.

He also praised his colleagues in the Department of Foreign Affairs whom he spent three years working with on Ireland’s international development programme and building ties with the Irish diaspora.

“None of this work would have been possible without the support of the people of Galway East. I am deeply grateful to them for putting their trust in me again and again.

“I’m also deeply grateful to an amazing group of people who have worked with me on every campaign since 2004, particularly my family and a trusted circle of close friends.”

“It’s not easy being out there on the campaign trail, yet they committed a huge amount of personal time to me.”

“Finally, I want to thank my wife and son who give me the love and support I need to do this job well. My wife is my guiding star, I can’t even begin to describe how pivotal she has been to my work.”

“My son was only seven when I started my career, he has grown up surrounded by politics and has become a trusted advisor on so many aspects of the job, particularly as my work applies to his generation, a generation that gives me so much hope for our future.”

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar described Ciaran Cannon as one the, “hardest-working and most committed TDs in the Dail.”

“He has served the people of east Galway as a Senator, TD and Minister of State. In all of these roles, he worked tirelessly for the good of his constituents and for the country.”

“Ciarán is a gentleman who will be missed by all who know him or who work with him in the Dáil. I wish him the very best in his life after politics.”

Galway Daily