Youth Affairs Minister James Reilly and Employment Minister Ged Nash were among the notable casualties in the 2016 General Election, as the leading parties work to form the next government.
Reilly, who as Health Minister put in place the Tobacco Free Ireland initiative, led the drive to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products and repeatedly called for the introduction of a 'sugar tax', lost out to party colleague Alan Farrell, as well as Fianna Fáil's Darragh O'Brien, Independent Clare Daly, Labour's Brendan Ryan and Sinn Féin's Louise O'Reilly in the Dublin Fingal constituency.
Commenting, Reilly said that his time as Health Minister was challenging "when the country had no money and a lot of hard decisions had to be made".
Also losing his seat was Labour TD Ged Nash, who was the government's Minister of State for Business and Employment. During his tenure, Nash led calls for the abolition of 'zero hour' contracts and collective bargaining legislation, particularly during last year's industrial action at Dunnes Stores.
Nash lost out to Gerry Adams and Imelda Munster of Sinn Féin, Declan Breathnach of Fianna Fáil and Fergus O'Dowd and Peter Fitzpatrick of Fine Gael in the Louth constituency.
“It is a great shame the Labour party is going back into the Dáil in diminished numbers," Nash told the Irish Independent. "Working people and people who depend on public services will have a greatly weakened voice."
Former Minister of State for Small Business, John Perry, also lost his seat in the Sligo–North Leitrim constituency, after 19 years as a deputy.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones