Aftermath of Meath East byelection


Sir, – The response of Eamon Gilmore to the recent humiliation of the Labour Party in Meath East leaves much to be desired. This is the tip of the iceberg for 2014 unless something big happens and soon.

It’s clear that the party leader and the people around him are rudderless – they have no plan to get us out of this mess, and their leadership is a liability to the party. We cannot regain the confidence of the electorate under our current leadership – Eoin Holmes was the first innocent casualty of this, there will be many more the longer it continues. We essentially have until the end of the summer to change this situation – after that we are in 2014 territory and it will be too late. Party members should at least be mature enough to admit this to ourselves: if we let this continue into the 2014, we will be wiped off the political map at a local level, and it won’t be the fault of the councillors any more than the events of the last week were the fault of Eoin Holmes. Where will this leave us for general election 2016 (an event that like 2014 we are hurtling towards blindly, with no plan beyond hoping for the best)?

What is urgently needed is root and branch reform, but that cannot and will not happen under the current leadership. It is a barrier electorally, structurally, and politically – and it is the first such barrier that needs to be torn down if we’re to have any chance. This will not happen on its own – members need to start asserting themselves to make it so, and the time for trying to do it quietly and internally is long passed.

Ordinary members or councillors need to start writing to our TDs, to head office, and to the media, as I am doing. We need to secure the resignation of Eamon Gilmore as leader of the Labour Party because if we don’t we can’t initiate needed internal and directional reform – and if we can’t do that then we’ve already lost both the party and the electorate.

We’ve been afforded a wake-up call with this byelection – let’s not waste it. – Yours, etc,


(Former Labour Party

Central Council Member),

Landscape Road,

Churchtown, Dublin 14.