Richard Bruton has been active in politics within the Republic of Ireland for well over four decades. He is likely not the most famous politician in his family. But he has nonetheless carved out a significant legacy for himself.

Bruton has held some of the most prestigious public offices in Ireland. He currently serves as the chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party. With a centrist platform, the party's name roughly translates to "Family of the Irish." But the party will evidently have to fill that position shortly.

Says he will not stand for re-election to the Dail Eireann

Richard Bruton will not run for another Parliamentary term. A general election date has yet to be finalized, but it must be held by 2025 at the latest. With his announcement, Bruton also encouraged others to enter the political fray. Encouraging "anyone with an interest in public life to put their name forward for election."

Bruton joins a list with several of his colleagues announcing their retirement. It includes Denis Naughten, Joe McHugh, and Michael Creed.

In 1979, Bruton won his first political office as a member of the Meath County Council. Two years later, he joined the Oireachtas, Ireland's Parliament, for the first time. That year, he was selected for membership of the Seanad Eireann, or the Senate.

His time as a senator would be short. Bruton was elected to the Dail Eireann, or Assembly, for the first time within a few months. Originally, he represented the Constituency of Dublin North-Central. It was eventually changed to Dublin Bay North. In 1986, Bruton was made a junior minister of the Department of Energy.

Helped his brother rise to power

John Bruton, Richard's brother, ran for the leadership of Fine Gael in 1990. Richard managed the campaign, which would be successful. Four years later, John won the job of taoiseach (prime minister). His brother appointed Richard to the prestigious role then known as minister for enterprise and employment.

Both brothers maintained those offices until 1997.

In 1999, Richard Bruton was elected to the additional duty of being a member of the Dublin City Council. But he'd give up his Council membership after dual mandates were outlawed in the Republic of Ireland in 2003.

In 2002, Bruton ran to be the next Fine Gael leader. He fell short of Enda Kenny, who named him as the deputy leader. Kenny and Bruton served in that dynamic for the next several years. But in 2010, Bruton launched an unsuccessful bid to oust Kenny as leader. In the aftermath, he lost his title of deputy leader. However, he would be kept in a relatively prominent position in the party.

Fine Gael would come out on top in the 2011 general election.

The new Taoiseach Kenny appointed Bruton to his old portfolio, by then called minister for jobs, enterprise, and innovation. He was later moved and became the minister for education and skills. Kenny's successor, Leo Varadkar, initially kept him in the role but later changed him to minister for communications, climate action, and environment.

Bruton left the Cabinet in 2020. It was then that he assumed the chairmanship.