February 7 2019 9:58 PM
Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor has decided against running the European Parliament elections.
Speaking at Fine Gaell constituency event, in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Ms Mitchell O’Connor told supporters she would not be putting her name forward.
In a statement, the Minister said: “Having taken some time to consult with my family, friends and constituents, I have decided not to run in the forthcoming European elections.”
She said was persuaded by “senior colleagues” to consider running in the Dublin constituency in the May election.
“After much consideration, the draw to continue to serve my constituents in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown won out. The opportunity to represent Dublin and Ireland in Europe was one that was worthy of serious consideration, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I would prefer to continue making a positive difference for my constituents in Dáil Éireann,” she added.
“Added to that is the fact that I genuinely love my current ministry and wish to continue to develop policy in the area. We have work left undone in many areas but in particular, we’ve work to do in making sure that our third level institutions lead the way on areas such as gender equality and the correct teaching of issues around consent.
“Similarly, I’m keen to continue progress in areas like establishing our technological universities, increasing funding for third level colleges, the new professorial apprenticeships, the green initiatives within our HE Institutions, improving English Language Schools and improved access for all to Higher Education and Further Education.
“I wish to sincerely thank An Taoiseach and senior cabinet colleagues for their support and patience while I reached this decision,” she added.