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Ruairi Quinn made the announcement outside Leinster House at midday Mr Quinn said he will not seek re-election as a TD
Ruairi Quinn has confirmed he will step down as Minister for Education and Skills after the new Labour Party leader is elected.
He made the announcement outside Leinster House at midday.
Mr Quinn said it was a considered decision and he wanted to make the task of the new Labour team easier.
He will not seek re-election as a TD.
It is understood there was a series of meetings at Government Buildings this morning involving staff from Mr Quinn’s office and current Labour Party Leader Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.
It comes ahead of an expected Cabinet re-shuffle next week.
His announcement is also just days ahead of the Labour Party choosing a new leader after Mr Gilmore’s resignation following a disastrous result in the Local and European Elections in May.
Mr Quinn said he has already voted in the leadership contest and although he would not indicate who he had voted for, he said the new leader had his full support.
Mr Quinn was first elected as a TD in 1977 in the then Dublin South-East constituency.
He was deputy leader of the Labour Party from 1990 to 1997 and leader from 1997 to 2002.
He has held several ministerial positions and has been Minister for Education and Skills since 2011.
Before becoming a TD Mr Quinn was an architect and town planner.
On his decision to step down, Mr Quinn said he had made his own decision, but it had come sooner than he would have liked.
He said he had informed his family, the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and his party colleague Joan Burton of his intentions.
Former Taoiseach John Bruton said he believes Mr Quinn was one of the most successful finance ministers in Ireland’s history.
Mr Bruton said the legislation to set up the Criminal Assets Bureau, which Minister Quinn pioneered, was pioneering legislation for the whole of Europe.
Mr Bruton said believed there was a future for the Labour Party in Ireland, and that Mr Quinn was very conscious of the history of the party and its contribution to democracy.
Former Dublin lord mayor and constituency colleague of Mr Quinn, Councillor Dermot Lacey said Mr Quinn has been a good local constituency TD and a committed national politician.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke, Mr Lacey said one of Mr Quinn’s proudest moments in politics was the implementation of the community employment programme.
Minister of State Kathleen Lynch said the attitude of Mr Quinn helped to ease the transition when the Democratic Left joined the Labour party.
Speaking on the same programme, she said the minister was welcoming and always anxious to iron out any issues to the mutual benefit of both parties.
Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland president Sally Maguire said Mr Quinn’s tenure as Minister for Education came at a time of unprecedented crisis in Ireland which impacted on investment in education.
She said while the minister had a keen interest in education reform it is “regrettable that he failed to consult with the classroom practitioners on his proposals to replace” the Junior Cert exam.