Eamon Gilmore: Fine Gael getting too much credit for economic recovery
Fine Gael is getting too much credit for our economic recovery, former Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has said.
And Labour is getting too much of the blame for when things that go wrong - and deserves more credit for its achievements in Government.
Speaking at the party's selection convention for the Dun Laoghaire constituency, Deputy Gilmore, and party deputy leader, Alan Kelly, stressed Labour's "transforming achievements" during its period in coalition should be recognised.
Deputy Gilmore, stepping down after three decades as a constituency TD, said the junior coalition partner has got a "disproportionate share of the blame" for unpopular decisions made in Government.
"And we haven't got the credit for what has been an extraordinary economic recovery," he said.
"I challenge anybody to tell me of any other developed country, which has gone from the depths of the recession we had at the beginning of 2011, to being the fastest growing economy in Europe.
"It's been an extraordinary turnaround, and it would not have happened without Labour."
Speaking to independent.ie, he insisted the Party has got the "lion's share of the grief and very little share of the credit" when compared to Fine Gael.
Results in the local and European elections demonstrated the "very high price" it has paid, he added.
He insisted at all times the interests of the country were "put first", very often to the detriment of his party.
Alluding to the upcoming election, he said: "The question is whether there is going to be recognition of what we have achieved in government''.
Addressing over 100 members of the party faithful, Deputy leader, Alan Kelly, also stressed Labour must start "owning and honouring its achievements."
He argued the recent same-sex marriage referendum would not have been passed if the party was not in Government.
"In fact there was no prospect of it happening, unless we were in Government."
Referring to the revelation that just 46pc of people have paid their water bills, Deputy Gilmore insisted the figure is a "strong response."
"Over time you'll see that increase. Thanks to the work that the Labour Party has done, the charge now is a very modest.
"When you factor in the conservation grant, the maximum charge is 46 cents a day."
The convention, in which Cllr Carrie Smyth was selected to run for the party in the Dun Laoghaire constituency, was also attended by Party leader, Joan Burton.