An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has paid tribute to Senator Paudie Coffey following his decision to leave public life at the end of the current Seanad.
“I want to thank Paudie for 20 years of unbroken service as a Minister of State, TD, Senator, and Councillor. I’m very sorry to hear about his decision but I can understand his wish to spend more time with his wife and family and pursue other opportunities. He has been a fantastic representative for Waterford and we will miss him in the Party.
“A former member of Waterford County Council, he also held the post of Deputy Mayor of County Waterford, was Chairman of the South East Regional Authority, and later served as Minister of State for Housing and Planning.
“Paudie is currently a member of the Seanad and is a regular contributor to the business of the House. He would almost certainly have been re-elected to the next Dáil had he decided to contest the general election.
“Fine Gael has a strong ticket in Waterford with Cllr John Cummins and Cllr Damien Geoghegan, and I am confident we will hold our seat there, having won the most votes in Waterford in recent local elections and the last general election.
“In the meantime I wish Paudie the very best in the next stage of his professional life, and thank him for his hard work and dedication to Fine Gael.”