Former Housing Minister, Eoghan Murphy in the 32nd Dáil, has resigned as a TD. According to RTÉ News, ‘Eoghan Murphy has resigned as a TD for Dublin Bay South and is to pursue a career in international co-operation, human rights and democracy. According to Fine Gael, ‘the former Fine Gael TD, who has served in the Dáil since 2011 as a TD, Minister of State and as a Cabinet Minister, wrote to the Ceann Chomhairle of the Dáil this morning to confirm his resignation… Prior to entering Leinster House, he was elected a Dublin City Councillor in 2009 for the Pembroke-Rathmines constituency’.
Deputy Murphy said he came to this ‘personal decision’ and acknowledged that it may come as a ‘surprise’. ‘In a letter sent to Fine Gael members in the Dublin Bay South constituency, Mr Murphy said leaving frontline politics is not something that he is doing without having considered the matter fully’. According to Fine Gael, he said that ‘it has been a huge privilege to serve the Dublin Bay South constituency, first as a councillor and then as a TD… In my late 20s, I worked in the UN system before I returned to Ireland to get involved alongside many other people looking to play their part in the national recovery at the time… And now, after 12 years of service and having reflected upon things, I have made the decision to return to international affairs'
Mr Murphy also added that he "resigned [his] seat today, not to leave politics entirely, but to pursue a career in the area of international co-operation, human rights and democracy" Mr Murphy also thanked all he worked alongside in Fine Gael, in the Oireachtas, various Government departments, Dublin City Council and numerous other agencies and bodies who serve the Irish people so well. Mr Murphy further expressed his gratitude to all in his constituency who "put their faith in me so many years ago and have stood by me ever since. I will be eternally grateful."
The resignation of Eoghan Murphy as a TD, reduces the number of Fine Gael deputies in the 33rd Dáil to 34 seats. The resignation means that there will be a by-election that must be held within the next 6 months and no later than 6 months, as is required under Bunreacht na hÉireann. Currently. Dublin Bay South TDs include deputies, Eamon Ryan for the Green Party, Chris Andrews for Sinn Féin and Jim O’Callaghan for Fianna Fáil. This leaves Dublin Bay South without a Fine Gael TD for the moment after Kate O’Connell lost her seat in the 2020 general election.
The by-election will take place nearly be 18 months into the Government’s term of office and as past history has shown, by-elections are not usually kind to the Government parties. It will be interesting to see whether Fine Gael has another TD, elected, in Dublin Bay South to replace Mr Eoghan Murphy, or whether other parties such as Sinn Féin get a second TD elected to the constituency for the first time ever. It will also be intriguing to see which candidates that each of the parties run in the constituency. Whatever happens, this by election will reflect the current attitude towards the government parties, and will provide a necessary indicator of party approval.