Fine Gael’s John McNulty has withdrawn his name from the Seanad by-election.
It had been anticipated that a woman candidate would be selected, or someone with more experience in the sectors than the 37 year old Kilcar man, who manages a shop in Stranorlar.
News that he’d been appointed to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art just days before his nomination led to widespread criticism.
All the members of the Oireachtas have between now and October 10 to cast their ballots in the election. However, before the controversy escalated, it was generally anticipated that the party’s nominee would fill the seat vacated by a party member.
Mr McNulty released a statement this afternoon saying he had withdrawn his name and was asking members of the Oireachtas not to vote for him.
He continued: “I am taking this decision because I believe that to contest the election would be an ongoing distraction from the critical work of Government which is to secure Ireland’s recovery through job creation and increased investment.
His statement confirmed what many had guessed, that the Seanad post would have been a precursor to a general election bid.
He said: “It is my intention to seek a party nomination to contest the next general election”.
Following the announcement, Today FM’s Matt Cooper tweeted: “What would happen if John McNulty was to win the Seanad by-election from which he has withdrawn (but is still on ballot)? Would he resign?”