Joe McHugh: ‘It was such a novelty, waking up every morning and hanging out with my family’

Joe McHugh has spent 20 years as a politician at the forefront of Fine Gael, including a stint as minister for education, but a health scare and a change of pace during Covid-19 that allowed him spend more time with his family has persuaded him that a new career could be in order

Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh, former minister for education: ‘I'm going to take time out. I like stone wall building and continue to do that in my spare time.’ Picture: Fergal Phillips

Joe McHugh began to re-evaluate his political future following a health scare last year. A PSA blood test had flagged up a problem with the Donegal TD’s prostate.

After a biopsy to take a tissue sample, his body temperature rose to 42 degrees and he was rushed by ambulance at 3am from his home in Carrigart to Letterkenny Hospital. He had septicemia, a potentially life-threatening blood infection and spent a week recovering.

“That was a ...