ROSYTH councillor Pat Callaghan will not seek re-election to Fife Council in May after a period of illness.
The Labour politician, who has been involved in local government for more than 30 years, underwent a heart operation and then contracted pneumonia.
Pat, 67, is the former transport spokesman and will stand down along with his wife, Alice, who is a Labour councillor for the West Fife and Coastal Villages.
He was absent from council duties from June to January and has now decided to step back and spend time with his three kids and 11 grandchildren.
Pat, who stays in Dunfermline, told the Press: “Two years ago I had a heart operation, which was 100 per cent successful, but then I contracted pneumonia and I’ve been dealing with the legacy of that ever since.
“I was bringing up blood, which has been a bit embarrassing, sometimes I’m very tired and I’ve been losing weight too.
“I’ve had a helluva time. I seem to be over the worst of it now and I’m fit to go back to work but that’ll be me finished, I won’t be standing again.
“My health and family has to come first. You think you’re invincible but then something like that happens.”
He continued: “I’m 67. The time has come to re-evaluate my life, get rid of the selfishness and politics and start thinking of family.
“I got a fright and I don’t want one like that again so we had a long sit down and made our decision.
“Alice is not going back either so we’ll take time for family and see a lot more of Scotland.”
Apart from a spell running the post office in Aberdour, when it won the best post office in Scotland award, Pat has been involved in local government for more than 30 years and was former leader of Dunfermline District Council.
The first warning signs of a health problem were a fast pulse and being out of breath.
He said: “It started because my heart was racing. It was up at 186 and I was sitting in a waiting room when I read a poster that said anything above 150 should be taken seriously!
“I was terrified of having a stroke but they got me in and sorted.
“I was in for eight hours, it was a four-hour op, but I was back out the same day.
“It was very quick and effective and it got the pulse rate down to 70-80 but I was wide open to infection after the heart operation. Unfortunately, it went for my left lung.
“One of the x-rays was pure black and it looked like cancer so I was freaking out.”
Thankfully, he’s on the mend and Pat added: “But it’s far from poor me. I’ve had a good innings and I’m tough enough and have got enough love to get through.
“I’m focusing on the positives. I’ve had a good time, I know I’ve done a lot of good and helped people and a lot of people have helped me.
“I’ve met a lot of really good people too. I’ve loved it.”
A report went to yesterday's full council meeting explaining that, due to the timing of committee meetings and the festive break, the chief executive approved a temporary extension to Cllr Callaghan’s period of absence from the council due to ill health.
Councillors can be removed if, for a period of six consecutive months, they don’t attend any meeting of the council without a valid reason.