Clare Independent TD Michael Harty will NOT be contesting the upcoming General Election.
The Kilmihil GP, who was first elected to the Dáil in 2016, had previously indicated that he would run, but has now changed his mind.
Dr. Michael Harty was voted into Leinster House on foot of a ‘No Doctor, No Village’ campaign that originated from public meetings in Corofin.
He polled over 8,600 votes, taking the second seat.
In the Dáil, he has served as Chairman of the Oireachtas Health Committee and has been a keen supporter of health service reform, including the all-party Slaintecare plan.
In recent years, he has also become an increasingly vocal critic of the government.
This afternoon, Dr. Harty has told Clare FM that he has found it increasingly difficult to manage his work as both a TD and as a GP, and he says it’s also become more difficult to secure locum cover.
As a result, he’s chosen to return to his practice, and his name will not be on the ballot paper in Clare next month.
It means there is now guaranteed to be at least one change in the TDs returned from Co Clare in next month’s General Election.
Statement from Dr. Michael Harty TD:
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.