Pat Breen has announced his retirement from politics.
The former Clare TD, who lost his seat in this month’s General Election, has been a prominent figure in public life in Clare for over 20 years.
Pat Breen’s political career began in 1999, when he was elected to Clare County Council as a representative for the Kilrush electoral area.
Three years later, the Ballynacally man was successful in a General Election for the first time, and he would go onto be elected to the Dáil on three more occasions, including in 2011 when he topped the poll.
Pat Breen served in a range of roles during his early days as a TD, including as his party’s deputy spokesman on Foreign Affairs and as chair of a Dáil Sub-Committee on Overseas Aid.
He later chaired the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee and following the election of four years ago, was appointed as Minister of State for Employment and Small Business by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in May of 2016.
He was kept on in that role, and assumed additional responsibilities, after Leo Varadkar became Taoiseach.
In these roles, Minister Breen has led several international trade missions with Irish businesses, but his time in politics will now come to an end after he lost his Dáil seat in this month’s election.
He will continue to serve as a Junior Minister until a new government is formed.
Pat Breen says he enjoyed politics and its challenges, and says it has been an honour and privilege to represent the people of Clare, and he highlights the reduction of the unemployment rate to 4.8% during his time as a Junior Minister as a particular highlight.