Independent TD for Waterford John Halligan has confirmed that he will not contest the next election.
The Junior Minister had been a partner in government as part of the Independent Alliance.
The decision to retire marks the end to a 30-year political career.
After failing to win a Dáil seat as a member of the Workers’ Party in 2004 and 2007, Mr Halligan was elected as an Independent in both 2011 and 2016 getting over 8,000 first preference votes at the last General Election.
“Having given over 30 years of my life to politics, I now feel the time is right to start a new chapter and devote more time to my family – my wife, children and grandchildren – all of whom have been an unfailing support to me,” the former Mayor of Waterford said in a statement.
Speculation about the Waterford TD’s future grew after Shane Ross said he was “very, very sorry” that neither Mr Halligan nor Finian McGrath were standing for election. At the time, only Mr McGrath had spoken publicly about his intention not to contest next month’s ballot.
Meanwhile, the campaign for those who are running in General Election 2020 is underway with parties setting out their stalls.
Fine Gael are in Monaghan while Fianna Fáil are in Dublin for the first full day of campaigning.
The 32nd Dáil was dissolved yesterday, with the Taoiseach announcing that polling day is February 8.
The election coincides with a number of sporting events, including Ireland’s Six Nations match against Wales.