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Dr Michael Harty, who has apologised for attending the controversial Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Clifden. Photograph by John Kelly

Dr Harty announces he will not run in general election

DR Michael Harty has announced he will not seek to retain his seat in the upcoming general election.

In a statement on Monday afternoon the West Clare based TD said, “I am announcing today, 13th January 2020, that I am not putting my name forward as a candidate in the upcoming general election for personal and professional reasons.

“At the outset, as a leader of the No Doctor No Village campaign, I committed to maintain general practice services in Kilmihil by putting in place a locum GP, while taking my seat as an Independent TD to fulfil all the responsibilities and duties associated with that position both nationally and locally. Finding a full-time locum GP has proved increasingly difficult over the years. It is now not possible to fulfil both commitments. I have had to make a choice between seeking re-election or keeping my promise to my local community. I have chosen the latter.”

“It has been an honour and privilege to represent the people of Clare in 32nd Dáil while proposing alternative ideas on how to deliver balanced regional development for Clare, support rural sustainability and reform the structure our health services especially within the Mid-West region.”

“I would like to thank all those who have supported me during the election campaign of 2016 and over the past 4 years in Dáil Éireann, especially my family, political support staff both in Clare and in Dublin as I advocated for my constituents to the best of my ability.”

“I hope the imminent election campaign will be fair and robust, allowing all candidates to put forwards their ideas and policies clearly so that the people can make an informed choice.”

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