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DUBLIN, May 18 (Reuters) - Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Thursday he will step down when a replacement to Prime Minister Enda Kenny is chosen next month, ending a six year term in which he saw the dramatic recovery of the Irish economy from a banking collapse.
The announcement came a day after Kenny announced he would quit, kicking off a succession contest between two younger ministers who colleagues hope will boost the party ahead of an election due late next year.
Noonan, 73, oversaw Ireland's exit from a three-year European Union-International Monetary Fund bailout and the country has posted the fastest economic growth in the European Union for the past three years.
"I do not wish to be considered for Cabinet by his successor, whoever that may be," Noonan said in a statement. He also said he will not stand for reelection as a member of parliament. (Reporting by Conor Humphries Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)