• 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.