Question-Time in EU Parliament

Nigel Farage talks to the EU Parliament answering a question from Mr De Rossa.

Farage highlights the debt rollover that Portugal will need in the coming weeks due to the euro crisis.

VETERAN Labour MEP for Dublin Mr Proinsias De Rossa is to quit his post next month after nearly 13 years in Brussels.

Mr De Rossa enjoyed a colourful political career after joining the Sinn Féin Workers Party in 1982, before internal disputes saw him resign as leader and form Democratic Left (DL) in the 1990s.

He became social welfare minister in the rainbow government of 1994-97, and president of the Labour Party in 1998 after it merged with DL. A year later he became MEP for Dublin.

Mr De Rossa, who is now set to earn a combined Dáil and MEP pension of about €90,000 a year, said he had few regrets, despite going to prison as an IRA member aged 16.

“I never held a gun in my hand, despite the fact I was a member of the IRA in 1956 and ended up almost immediately in jail,” he said.

Mr De Rossa, who never let a prominent stammer hold him back in public life, said he felt he had spent long enough in front line politics.

“I’ve been an elected representative for almost 30 years, so I have made a contribution to Irish society and it’s time I took a bit of time for myself.

“I have dedicated all my energies to the pursuit of peace and the elimination of poverty and inequality through peaceful change, and the deepening of democracy.

“These are matters on which I will continue to be active. I hope to participate in efforts to develop and promote alternative policy responses to Europe-wide austerity economics, the deepening of EU democracy and the social market economy, and the recognition of a Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel,” he said.

Source: Irish Examiner