Senator Paudie Coffey has notified the Taoiseach and Leader of Fine Gael, Leo Varadkar TD, and the Party’s General Secretary, Tom Curran, that he will not be contesting the next General Election whenever it may be held.
Over 2 years ago Senator Coffey was selected by the membership of Fine Gael in the Waterford Constituency to stand in the General Election as a Fine Gael candidate, however in recent weeks he has reflected on his position and this weekend he made the decision to leave public life when the current 25th Seanad term ends.
Senator Coffey has served at various levels in local and national politics since he was first elected as a County Councillor in 1999.
“I have been privileged to have represented my community as a public representative for over 20 years and I have been honoured during that time to serve as a member of Waterford County Council, Deputy Mayor of County Waterford, Chairman of the South East Regional Authority, a member of both Dáil and Seanad Éireann and also Minister of State.” stated Senator Coffey.
“I look forward now to focusing on the next chapter of my life and spending more time with my wife and three children and I am also excited about new opportunities that may present themselves in the time ahead.
“I would like to sincerely thank my wife Suzanne, my two brothers Eoin and Brendán, my sister Máiread and our extended family for their unstinting support over the years which is so important for one involved in public life. I would also like to thank my staff and loyal supporters and friends who campaigned and worked with me in seven election campaigns and the Fine Gael membership who placed their trust in me to be their standard bearer for all of these years.
“I wish to acknowledge the huge contribution of the many local community, business, sporting and farming representative groups as well as civic society advocates that I’ve worked with over the years. I want to also express my gratitude to the council, departmental and state agency officials who I have worked so closely with for the betterment of Waterford and our society.
“I would also like to thank the Waterford media specifically, both broadcast and print, for the very fair manner in which they engaged with me and reported my involvement in public life over the years.
“I thank my colleagues in the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, past and present, and the Fine Gael Councillors who have supported me and I wish them all the very best in their representative roles in the years ahead.
“Being a public representative is a huge privilege and I have had that honour for over 20 years. Indeed, my family have had that honour too having represented the people of our community for over 52 years and I would like to sincerely thank all of the Waterford voters who placed their trust in me in successive elections.
“Finally, I would like to especially wish my two Fine Gael colleagues and General Election Candidates, Cllrs John Cummins and Damien Geoghegan the very best in the forthcoming General Election,” Senator Coffey concluded.