Burton hopes Gilmore book becomes a bestseller

Book details strained relations between former Labour leader and his successor

Tánaiste Joan Burton has said she hopes a book written by her predecessor Eamon Gilmore, which is highly critical of her, becomes a Christmas bestseller.

Mr Gilmore's book about his time as tánaiste and Labour leader in Government, Inside Room, discloses the extent of the strained relationship he had with Ms Burton. He compared the successor's decision not to appoint him as a minister as being akin to being "court-martialled" and being "shot at dawn".

Responding to Mr Gilmore’s portrayal of that incident in the book, Ms Burton defended her decision not to appoint him but to opt for other TDs in the party.

She said Mr Gilmore himself had said such an occasion as leader had been the “most difficult and loneliest days in his life”.


"I was anxious to have the opportunity of taking in some of the intake of 2011, some of the newer people and some of the younger people: people like Ged Nash and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Anne Phelan. In doing that obviously, as with Eamon Gilmore, it was difficult to satisfy everybody."

Ms Burton went on to say she hoped Mr Gilmore’s book would be a Christmas bestseller.

"A bestseller for himself in the context of his sterling contributions to politics and to the Labour Party over the decades. But also because it should be a best seller for the cause to which he will give the profits, the Alzheimer Society. "

Asked about Labour winning support levels of a lowly 7 per per cent in the latest opinion poll, Mr Burton said it would be her job to highlight the significant and important role her party had played in Government.

She said it had contributed to the turnaround and economic recovery which she asserted was being experienced now.

“It’s not just an economic recovery but also a social recovery as well,” she said.

Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times