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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Fine Gael’s Ciaran Cannon will not contest next Irish general election

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Fine Gael TD Ciarán Cannon, who has served as a TD for Galway East for 20 years, announced that he won’t contest the next general election, citing a “toxicity in politics.”

He emphasised the need for civility, stating, “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.”

He expressed concern over the changing nature of public discourse, particularly on social media platforms, where interactions often lack restraint. He highlighted the impact of personal attacks on politicians and their families, stating, “It feels like you and your family are the target for whatever kind of abuse people feel it is appropriate for them to throw at you.”

While acknowledging the benefits of social media in giving voice to the voiceless, he condemned its misuse to spread abuse. He noted that the decision to leave politics was made after careful consideration with his family, mentioning discussions with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Despite his departure, he remains optimistic about the future of Fine Gael, emphasizing that his decision, along with other retiring TDs, is not indicative of any internal issues within the party. He reflected on his political journey, from his beginnings with the Progressive Democrats to his tenure with Fine Gael, expressing pride in his accomplishments while lamenting some unrealized goals, such as expanding voting rights for emigrants and those in the North.

Looking ahead, he hopes for continued collaboration among politicians for the betterment of the country, believing that meaningful change can be achieved through cooperation rather than independent endeavors.

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