“I am sorry to hear that Peter Fitzpatrick TD has decided to resign from the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party.
“I know that he has been unhappy for some time and was a strong opponent of holding a referendum on the Eighth Amendment.
“I spoke to Peter a few weeks ago when he decided not to seek a nomination to contest the next General Election as a Fine Gael candidate. At the time, he confirmed that he would continue to sit, act and vote as a Fine Gael TD until the end of his mandate. I regret that he has since changed his mind.
“Fine Gael is confident that it will retain its two seats in the Louth constituency. Cllr John McGahon has been selected to run alongside Fergus O’Dowd TD”.