Labour MEP Proinsias De Rossa has announced he is stepping down as Member of the European Parliament in February.
He said: "Since 1982, I have been privileged to represent the people of Finglas and Ballymun in the Dáil, and more widely the people of Dublin in Europe. I wish to thank the electorate for that opportunity and for their support in the 11 elections I have successfully contested since ’82, and indeed in the 4 elections I had previously unsuccessfully contested.
“My work as a public representative for 30 years, and before that my 25 years as a grassroots political activist, has always been motivated by a desire to change society for the better. I have dedicated all my energies to the pursuit of peace and the elimination of poverty and inequality through peaceful change, and the deepening of democracy.
“These are matters on which I will continue to be active. I hope to participate in efforts to develop and promote alternative policy responses to Europe-wide austerity economics, the deepening of EU democracy and the social market economy, and the recognition of a Palestinian State living in peace alongside Israel.
“I want to thank all the people with whom I have worked politically, in particular the members of the Labour Party, Democratic Left and The Workers' Party, as well as countless NGOs and civil society organisations, whose driving motivation was and is the achievement of social justice. Their selfless commitment to a better society and the basic common sense of the Irish people are the main reasons I am optimistic for the future of Ireland and our place at the heart of the European Union."