Photo by Kevin Mcfeely

Sinn Fein Cllr Philip Lynam will quit his seat on Fingal County Council at the local authority’s December meeting, he has confirmed.

The Swords area representative topped the poll in the local elections in 2014 and was widely regarded as a certainty for a return to office in 2019.

However earlier this week Cllr Lynam, 38, announced his decision to stand down due to other work commitments.

Admitting it was a bittersweet and difficult decision he told Dublin Gazette: “I’ve just started a new job with Renault and I’m out the door it’s so busy at the moment.

“I’ve tried to juggle both jobs and having a young family but it can’t be done. I had a chat with the party and told them I couldn’t make time for both, it was not sustainable.

“Something had to give and that something is my council seat. I’d rather give 100 per cent commitment to something I’m doing and it’s not fair to the party or the people I represent if I can’t.”

Cllr Lynam said he had thoroughly enjoyed his five years on the council and thanked party colleagues including Deputy Louise O’Reilly and local grassroots members.

He added: “I’ve helped constituents in numerous areas including housing, employment and community-based projects. I’d like to think I’ve done them [Sinn Fein] proud and I’m still very much an active member.”

An internal party selection process is now under way to choose a successor who will be co-opted onto the council to replace Cllr Lynam and well-placed to retain the seat for Sinn Fein in next year’s local elections.

He said the council had become increasingly demanding on his time and he was critical of delays in getting motions onto the agenda and debated in chamber.

He added: “It took eight months to get the water charges on the table. Things should be dealt with quicker. It’s been very tough and at the end of the day I’ve a young family.”

Cllr Lynam said he would not rule out a return to politics at a later stage. He said: “I wish my replacement on the council all the best and I will continue to work with them.

“Next month will be my final meeting and it will be a little bit emotional for me. But there’s still a little crack in the door so it’s not fully shut just yet.”