Labour Senator says Gilmore must go before local elections

‘Younger members should be allowed to take over the party’

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore: should go before local elections

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore: should go before local elections

Fri, Sep 20, 2013, 01:05


A Labour Senator has said that the Tánaiste and his party leader Eamon Gilmore should be replaced before next summer’s local elections.

John Kelly, who is based in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon is quoted in a local newspaper, the Roscommon People, as saying younger members should be allowed to take over the party.

The Senator, who joined Labour the year before the last general election, has described himself as a “semi-dissident”.

He and another Labour colleague, Senator John Whelan, have been prominently involved in campaigning for a No in the referendum to abolish the Seanad.

Mr Kelly said last night that his views might have been portrayed a little dramatically and said he was not involved in any witch-hunt against his party leader.


Respect
“I have the greatest of respect for Eamon Gilmore and I think he is getting some unfair coverage. We are getting blamed for everything.”

He said at the same time the party needed to act to reverse the slide it has suffered in the past 2½ years.

“Are we going to end up having county councillors slaughtered [electorally] all over the country,” he said.

A senior Labour Party source said Mr Kelly had been “semi-detached” for some time and had been critical not only of Mr Gilmore but also of other Ministers. The source said the comments had been noted but indicated they were not being taken seriously or that any measures or sanctions would be taken as a result of them.