Spending more time with his family and ensuring the growth of his business are the reasons Padraig Loughrey resigned from his role as an elected member of Longford Co Council.
The former local area representative in Longford town announced his resignation on Sunday and there was widespread disbelief in the aftermath.
Speaking to the Leader on Monday, Mr Loughrey said that after spending eight and a half years in public life, he felt he had reached the right decision for himself by stepping down from his elected role.
He intends to remain as an active member of Fianna Fáil and thanked the party for all its support through the years.
“I felt the decision to resign was the right one for me,” said Mr Loughrey, before pointing out that it would also benefit his family, business and the people who elected him.
“It is something that I have been contemplating for over six months now and had resigned myself to completing the term.
“Then somebody said to me if it is a good time two years from now to leave, then it’s a good time now!.”
Mr Loughrey was first elected to Longford County Council during the 2009 Local Election.
He was highly regarded and a well-respected member of the Fianna Fáil party.
During the intervening years, he married his wife Natasha and together the couple
A trained pharmacist, he also expanded his business during that time and now has three shops in operation.
“With current legislation now, there must be a pharmacist on the premises at all times and I found myself in a situation where I was having to chose between being at work and having to attend to council business,” he told the Leader.
“My daughter is four and a half years old now and it only feels like the blink of an eye since she was a baby; Logan is two and I want to be there for them, and my wife as much as I can be.”
Mr Loughrey went on to say that by not providing an explanation when he issued his statement of resignation on Sunday morning, people jumped to conclusions - something that upset him a lot.
“Some thought I was sick, others felt there must be internal issues within the party, and of course none of these things
“As people get older their priorities change.”
There is now a vacant seat on the local authority and Mr Loughrey’s position of Leas Cathaoirleach will also have to be filled.
“Fianna Fáil will have to decide who will be co-opted onto my seat now,” he continued, before pointing out that his own personal opinion was that it should be the party’s general election candidate, Joe Flaherty.
“It will be up to the councillors to decide on the Leas Cathaoirleach position and I believe that Cllr Seamus Butler should be the person to take that on.”
Before concluding the Killoe native said he would remain active in Fianna Fáil and commended those who enter public service.
“Public service is a very noble role to take on and I look forward to working with local committees in the future,” he added.