Republic of Ireland news

Dara Murphy resigns as TD to take up European Commission role

Dara Murphy informed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of his decision to take up a new position in the European Commission on Wednesday
Aoife Moore, PA

Fine Gael TD Dara Murphy has resigned from his seat in the Dáil.

He met with the acting Ceann Comhairle on Tuesday night and gave him a letter informing him of the decision to resign his seat in Dáil Éireann, where he has represented Cork North Central since 2011.

Mr Murphy also met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, informing him of his decision to take up a new position in the European Commission on Wednesday.

Mr Murphy has been embroiled in a scandal over his attendance in the Dáil after taking another job in Europe as the campaign director of the European People's Party, Fine Gael's EU political group, which meant he was out of the country for periods of time.

Mr Murphy has been largely absent from the chamber due to the Brussels-based job, which has sparked concern over representation for his constituents and expenses he has claimed during his tenure as TD.

Calls for his resignation have been mounting in the last week, including from some in his own party.

A statement from Mr Murphy on Wednesday morning read: "I would like to acknowledge and give thanks for the support I have received from so many people: the taoiseach and the Fine Gael Party, at local and national level; my family; and most importantly I would like to thank the people of Cork North Central."

A letter sent to the Ceann Comhairle from Mr Murphy said: "I would like to inform you that I am resigning my seat in Dáil Éireann with immediate effect.

"I would ask you to please inform the House at an appropriate time. I would also like you to please convey my gratitude and best wishes to all members and staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas.

"It has been an honour to represent the people of Cork and work with so many fine people for the past nine years. I would also like to thank you for your professionalism and courtesy."

The move was announced in the Dáil on Wednesday morning by Leas-Cheann Comhairle Pat "the Cope" Gallagher.

Mr Murphy's last act as TD was to vote for embattled Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy in a vote of no confidence on Tuesday night.

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