Dowds won’t run in general election

by Ian Begley

LABOUR Party TD for Dublin Mid-West Robert Dowds has announced that he will step down ahead of the general election, telling The Gazette that the decision was entirely his own.
In an unexpected announcement, Deputy Dowds said he believes his party colleague and fellow TD Joanna Tuffy is in a better position to retain her seat and stepped down to fully support her.
First elected as a councillor in South Dublin County Council for the Clondalkin Ward in 1999 and re-elected in again in 2004 and 2009, Dowds then went onto represent Dublin Mid-West in the Dail since 2011.
Speaking about his decision, Deputy Dowds said: “The choice was entirely my own, which I thought over after a long process. At times I’d wake up thinking that I should run again and then at other times I would change my mind, but in the end I knew it would be for the best to step down.
“I knew that Joanna Tuffy would be more likely to retain a seat in the Dail and believe it was the right decision for me to fully support her. This Government hasn’t got everything right, but we have improved the economy vastly by bringing more than 120,000 people back to work.
“In announcing my retirement from politics, I want to thank the voters who elected me on four different occasions and most especially thank the Labour Party volunteers who canvassed with me in all weathers and conditions.
“In the last number of years, democracy has been degraded in this country, from the corruption of a small but influential group of politicians to the current vile abuse given to decent public representatives via social media and to politicians who should know better encouraging people to break the law.”
Dowds added that his work in persuading the Government to provide funding for the new Rowlagh Health Centre along with getting the Round Tower Heritage project off the ground were among his biggest achievements since being elected.
Asked what he will do after he steps down, Deputy Dowds said: “I still haven’t fully decided what I’ll do when I finish, but I might like to go back to teaching. I still intend on supporting my community and playing an active role in it. I can’t say for certain whether this is my total retirement from politics, but I am positive I have made the right choice stepping down.”
Tanaiste and Labour Party Leader Joan Burton paid tribute to Deputy Dowds, saying: “Robert is a man of integrity and a steadfast advocate for his constituents and he would never act in a way that would risk the recovery.
“As a result, with Labour in government, we were able to wave goodbye to the troika, restore the country’s public finances, and bring about recovery that is continuing to gain momentum in all parts of the country.
“We can thank Robert for his contribution to this dramatic turnaround.”

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