MEP Phil Prendergast stands by call for Gilmore to resign

Tánaiste insists all Labour European candidates ‘have my support in these elections’

Joan Burton TD, MEP candidate Lorraine Higgins,  Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Emer Costello MEP and Phil Prendergast MEP at the launch of the Labour European and local election manifestos at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Joan Burton TD, MEP candidate Lorraine Higgins, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Emer Costello MEP and Phil Prendergast MEP at the launch of the Labour European and local election manifestos at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Fri, May 16, 2014, 01:04


Ireland South MEP Phil Prendergast has said she

stands by her calls for Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore to resign as Labour leader, but says she will not work to oust him after the local and European elections.

Speaking at the party’s local and European manifesto launch, Mr Gilmore said Ms Prendergast and all other candidates had his full support.

The substitute MEP called for Mr Gilmore’s resignation following bad polls at the start of the campaign, and saw her own personal ratings improve as a result. “I stand by what I said,” Ms Prendergast, who was also at the event, said. “I think it’s been a difficult time; we’ve had a very long lead-in to this.”

She said an MEP’s “job of work” is to focus on working on employment issues and initiatives like the Youth Guarantee.

Mr Gilmore said all the party’s European candidates “have the full support of the party, and they have my support in these elections”.

“If you look at the ballot paper in any of the three constituencies, the outstanding candidates are the Labour Party candidates. They have the full support of the party, and they have my support in these elections.”

Justice controversies
Mr Gilmore also said it is up to the Oireachtas Justice Committee to decide whether to call Taoiseach Enda Kenny before it to discuss the Garda and justice controversies, such as the resignation of Martin Callinan.

“In relation to the Taoiseach appearing before the Oireachtas committee, that’s a matter for the Oireachtas committee to invite him, and members of his Government have always been willing to appear before an Oireachtas committee.”

The Government has an inbuilt majority on the committee, and its Fine Gael chairman, David Stanton, did not return calls last night.

Another Fine Gael member, Alan Farrell, said he could not see what “purpose it would serve” to have the Taoiseach come before the committee.

Labour member Seán Kenny said he “hasn’t got a view” if Mr Kenny should be asked to appear.

Smaller home
Labour’s manifesto contains proposals on housing and other areas, such as extending “empty-nester” schemes which allow older people who want to move to a smaller home to sell their home to the council and live in smaller accommodation.