Second Labour councillor resigns from party in space of one week

Mick Duff says party is ‘heading into oblivion like the SDLP in Northern Ireland’

Mick Duff (right), picture here during a local election count in Dublin South in 2009. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mick Duff (right), picture here during a local election count in Dublin South in 2009. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

AINE McMAHON

Labour councillor for Tallaght Mick Duff has resigned from the party, making him the second councillor to resign in a week.

Cllr Martina Genockey, the party’s election candidate for Dublin South West. announced her resignation last week and said the party had lost its direction and its core values

Mr Duff said the party is “heading into oblivion like the SDLP in Northern Ireland.”

In a statement on Friday night he said he would be resigning from his position as Dublin South West constituency council chairman and central council member as well as giving up his membership of the Labour Party immediately.

He said the appointment of Brendan Howlin as party leader has had a “detrimental effect” on the party.

“We have learned no lessons from our time in Government and seem hellbent on returning to Coalition as soon as we hear the noble call. Difficult as it is in opposition as a small party, we could effectively use that time to reorganise, rejuvenate and rebuild,” he said.

“Regaining trust as a party of social conscience is not easy, but it is a road I hoped the party would travel. Instead, we hear calls for partnering up with the Social Democrats and the Green Party, bringing Labour into a situation like the SDLP, on a road to oblivion,” he wrote.

Ms Genockey and Mr Duff were among the 14 councillors who signed a letter during the summer calling for a debate on the party’s leadership.

The issue was resolved at the party’s think-in earlier this month but doubts remain among some councillors and members about Mr Howlin’s leadership.

Deputy Labour leader Alan Kelly tweeted he was sorry to see Cllr Duff leave the party.

“Best Wishes Mick. This is a very sad day for all of us. Hope you & Martina will be back with us one day. Thanks for everything. Alan,” tweeted Mr Kelly.