Leyden: ‘I’m keeping door open on Dáil run’

Orla Leyden, who has announced that she will not be contesting the 2024 local elections, has informed Fianna Fáil HQ that she would be open to considering a future political role, should that prospect arise.

Stressing that she has no motive in opting out of local politics beyond wanting to pursue other interests, Cllr. Leyden said she will “never say never” with regard to the issue of a return to the political stage in the future.

Cllr. Leyden ran for Fianna Fáil in the 2020 General Election, polling almost 3,000 first preferences. She was subsequently critical of the Fianna Fáil leadership’s decision to enter into a Coalition Government with Fine Gael and the Green Party.

On Tuesday, Cllr. Leyden emailed Seán Dorgan, General Secretary of Fianna Fáil to inform him of her decision not to seek a nomination at the party’s forthcoming Selection Convention. Mr. Dorgan phoned her by return, and during their conversation Cllr. Leyden told the party General Secretary that she would be open in the future to “considering” a political role if something of that nature presented itself.

Asked if this meant another Dáil run is a possibility, Cllr. Leyden said: “I’m not ruling that out. I’m keeping the door open. I may miss it (politics) desperately. I don’t know. I have learned the political maxim, never say never! For now, I want to pursue other interests. I will be 20 years’ a councillor next May, and it’s all-consuming”.

Asked if she is on speaking terms with party leader, Micheál Martin – whom she has criticised in the past – Cllr. Leyden said: “I haven’t met him recently, he was busy being Taoiseach. But if I had met him recently, I would have spoken to him!”

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