COUNCILLOR Ian McGarvey has announced his intention to retire from politics.
The 92-year-old has spoken to Donegal County Council officials and informed them of his impending departure.
Confirming his plans to stand down, Ireland’s oldest serving public representative told the Donegal News yesterday, “The notice I have given is that in the near future I am looking at the option of retiring.
“I could stay on and on and do everything for everyone because I’m well enough to keep going. But I don’t feel I should stay on until the last minute.”
It will be up to Councillor McGarvey to nominate his replacement. It is understood his nephew Pauric is in line to take over the seat his uncle has held since 2004.
Ian McGarvey became Donegal County Council’s first independent mayor in June 2013 at the age of 82, a role that also made him the oldest mayor in Ireland.
A year later he became the state’s oldest ever general election candidate, securing his seat with 1,338 first preference votes.
In 2019, at the age of 88, he was returned to office for a further term.
Councillor McGarvey has been a passionate campaigner on multiple social issues through the years, often championing the cause of his hometown of Ramelton.
But he has also vocalised his frustration at the lack of progress, particularly in terms of planning, development and regeneration.
He said that while politics has been a huge part of his life, he does still have ambitions beyond the council chamber.
“I have land here in Ramelton and I own property here so I’ll not be idle.
“When I entered the council it was to serve the community and to make progress for the people at every level possible.
“If I can do anything for anyone I will continue to do so,” Councillor McGarvey added.