News Editorial

Saturday 3 December 2016

Gilmore shows dignity in manner of departure

Published 27/05/2014 | 02:30

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, the Labour Party chief and Foreign Affairs Minister in the Republic's coalition government announces his resignation as the leader of the Labour party. PA
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, the Labour Party chief and Foreign Affairs Minister in the Republic's coalition government announces his resignation as the leader of the Labour party. PA

Dignity was the major hallmark of the manner in which Eamon Gilmore resigned as Labour Party leader. The honesty, grace and speed with which he accepted responsibility for his party's weekend election debacle, without any equivocation or whining, was a breath of fresh air. These prized human characteristics have been too rarely seen in contemporary Irish public life.

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Too many political resignations in recent years have come after a prolonged period of attrition and when eventually there was no other choice. The way he departed was consistent with the diligence and ability Eamon Gilmore displayed over the decades of a career as a student leader, union organiser and politician.

Just three years ago the Dun Laoghaire TD was the most successful leader in the long history of the Irish Labour Party. He led the party's biggest delegation to Leinster House and followed up with a presidential election win and even a by-election win.

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