Statement by Stephen Donnelly TD Announcing His Departure


  • Donnelly to reflect on how he can best continue to serve his constituents of Wicklow & East Carlow

Monday 5 September, 2016: I am announcing, after a prolonged period of consideration, that I am leaving the Social Democrats with immediate effect. I do so with great sadness, having vested so much together with my parliamentary colleagues, Catherine and Roisin, a small core team and many volunteers across the country, into the establishment of the Social Democrats over the last 20 months.

It is a fact that some partnerships, in every walk of life, simply don’t work no matter how hard all of the parties to that partnership try to make it succeed.

My decision is based on the fact that for the Social Democrats to achieve its potential as a party of significant influence and scale, despite the many obstacles new parties face, one critical component is that the leadership team must function very well together as a team. In spite of everyone’s best efforts, I have concluded that our partnership did not have that . I further believe that this would be the case whether the leadership had continued to be shared or was vested in one person, which was not something I or anyone else had sought.

I entered politics in 2011 because I saw an urgent need for new thinking and approaches to steering Ireland through turbulent times and into a new era of opportunity and equality. I remain just as committed to making as best a contribution as I can to my constituency and our country through politics, as a social democrat. To this end, I will now be consulting with my supporters in Wicklow and East Carlow on the best way forward.

I wish to thank most sincerely the many, many people who support both the Social Democrats and me personally.
I will continue to work hard on the issues I am championing, including stopping tax avoidance by vulture funds, improving public services, resolving the mortgage crisis; responsible fiscal management, promoting high quality job creation and reducing the costs of living and doing business.

  • Desmond Hayes

    Good Luck Stephen…..Djh

  • Callaghan Ignorance

    All the best with the new venture Stephen. The guys at Rabble won’t approve – no matter what you do.

  • sinead

    Stephen, I’m quite frankly disgusted. I gave my No 1 vote to you as part of the SD. I admire the party, and you. Small, yes but a party that packs a punch. You all held on to your seats, while Renua floundered. I believe, that the SD at the next election will become greater & a political force to be reckoned it-with or without you now. That is why I voted for the party. Your reason for leaving…what reason? I really couldn’t make it out, another insult to your voters… It sounded like Chris & Gwyneth’s ‘conscious uncoupling’.
    A disappointing day for the Irish voter,

  • Louise Hannon Fotos

    Stephen.. Sorry to see you leave… Enjoyed working the photos/videos with you and your staff. Good Luck in the future.

  • maeve white

    Best of luck Stephen. I’ve no doubt that you have decided this is the best way forward. Irish people are obsessed with sticking together, no matter what, instead of being grown up and confronting a problem head on. That’s why the whole country is stuck in the past. Healthy confrontation ultimately demands change and change is scary and uncertain. But hey, that’s what is needed in order to be successful. Best wishes maeve white

  • macdarabutler

    I was really disappointed but not surprised to hear the news, I voted for Roisin Shortall in the hope that you would become leader but then I realised too many people in the party are too far on the left and it just doesn’t add up. If you’re starting a new party I’ll happily support it!

  • Paddy Maher

    Stephen, clearly a difficult decision, the future is defined by the choices we make now.
    Though it may be unclear the future is unfolding as it should. Your resolve is a credit to you. If I can see further than you it’s because I stood on the shoulders of a giants like you when I was younger. The people of Wicklow/Carlow are very fortunate to have someone of your ability and skills represent them.
    My greatest respects,
    To the future and beyond….

  • Chriskirk

    A brave but not totally unexpected decision Stephen, we have all learned a lot from the last general elections. If you get tired of your present constituency perhaps note that West Cavan still doesn’t have any representation and we are sick of empty promises.