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Alan Kelly and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin to go head-to-head for leadership of the Labour Party

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Alan Kelly and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin will go head-to-head for leadership of the Labour Party

Alan Kelly and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin will go head-to-head for leadership of the Labour Party

Labour TD Alan Kelly. Picture: Collins

Labour TD Alan Kelly. Picture: Collins

Ged Nash. Photo: Tom Burke

Ged Nash. Photo: Tom Burke

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Alan Kelly and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin will go head-to-head for leadership of the Labour Party

Alan Kelly and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin have both announced their intention to run for the leadership of the Labour Party

Mr Kelly unveiled his leadership bid in Dublin on Tuesday with new Dublin Fingal TD Duncan Smith nominating the Tipperary deputy who was seconded by Cork East TD Seán Sherlock.

The Labour Party will have a contest for the leadership, however, as Aodhán Ó Ríordáin is taking on the Tipperary TD.

Mr Ó Ríordáin was re-elected as the party TD in the Dublin Bay North constituency.

The former junior minister was a TD from 2011 to 2016, but then lost his seat and served as a Senator for the past four years.

Mr Kelly is being backed by former TDs Willie Penrose, Jan O'Sullivan and Mary Upton as well as a number of councillors across the country.

He said he would "relish" a contest and that it would be good for the party.

He said that Labour needed to go "back to basics" and reposition itself to represent working people. He said the party would stick with its position of not going into government as it has no mandate to do so.

Mr Nash was tipped to contest for the leadership of the Labour Party along with former deputy leader Alan Kelly who will announce his intention to run later on Tuesday.

The Louth TD's decision not to run leaves Dublin Bay North TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin as the only likely rival to Mr Kelly for the leadership after Brendan Howlin announced his intention to resign last week.

Ged Nash said he will not contest for the party leadership despite being encouraged to do so in recent days.

Mr Nash, who won back a Dáil seat in Louth last week after losing it in 2016, said he wants to focus on his constituency for the foreseeable future.

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In a statement issued on Tuesday morning through the Labour Press Office, Mr Nash said: "I want to thank those Parliamentary Labour Party colleagues who have encouraged me to run for the position of Leader of the Labour Party.

"I also want to express my sincere gratitude to Party members and supporters across the country who have been in contact with me in recent days to encourage me to contest the election.

"After considerable reflection, I have taken the decision not to allow my name to go forward.

"Just over one week ago, the people of Louth & East Meath honoured me with a mandate to represent them, their families and our community in Dáil Eireann.

"I am proud to have been entrusted with their trust and confidence. With that mandate comes enormous responsibility. My home town of Drogheda is at present faced with a particular set of complex challenges.

"There is a responsibility on my local Dáil colleagues and I to work night and day both locally and nationally to fix them. This is where my immediate focus must lie.

"I look forward to playing a full and central role in the reorientation, renewal and revitalisation of our Party under a new leader."


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