Thursday 29 September 2016

VIDEO: Labour's Joe Costello - 'The people have punished us'

Published 27/02/2016 | 20:31

Labour's Joe Costello, with his wife Emer, shaking hands with Independent candidate Christy Burke at the RDS count centre. Credit: Damien Eagers
Labour's Joe Costello, with his wife Emer, shaking hands with Independent candidate Christy Burke at the RDS count centre. Credit: Damien Eagers

Labour's Joe Costello - who lost his seat in Dublin Central this evening - says it's been a disappointing day for the party but they will recover.

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Speaking at the RDS prior to his elimination from his constituency, Mr Costello said his party was being punished by voters for the harsh decisions they had to make as part of government.

"I think once we made the decision to enter into government, we had to make some very harsh decisions. We did that knowing full well first of all it was in the interests of the country. We knew there was going to be very tough decisions that needed to be taken and certainly the people have punished us for some of those decisions.

"I would be very surprised if Labour was to go into this incoming government," he said.

"We're disappointed. it's been a bad day for the Labour Party. I didn't think we would lose so many seats. And it looks like I'm going to pretty much lose my seat.

"But it was extremely difficult in my case given that the deputy leader of Sinn Fein, and a cabinet minister and a very large number of independents. I'm disappointed but this is what happens and you take it as it comes.

When quizzed about Joan Burton's position as leader of the party, Mr Costello she will remain in place in the short term.

"That's a matter for down the road. But at the present time really it's a matter for reflecting on what happened for ourselves," he said.

"We did fight a very strong campaign.

"We have to start about rebuilding the party again.

"The party can [recover] and the party will.

"You have to take these things on the chin and that's what it is."

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