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The highs and lows of Joan's leadership

It has been a busy two years at the helm for former Tanaiste Joan Burton.

* Joan Burton defeated Alex White to take over from Eamon Gilmore as leader of the Labour Party in the summer of 2014.

The former Tánaiste told the party’s six other TDs and four senators of her decision during a private meeting this afternoon. She later addressed the media where she said she would take a back seat in the contest for her successor and will not endorse any candidate.

* That November she was targeted by anti-water charge protesters in Jobstown, Co Dublin. Burton, then the Tanaiste, remained in her car for more than two hours.

* The Labour leader was at the forefront of the same-sex marriage campaign which led to victory for the 'Yes' side in May of last year. She said Ireland had become a "rainbow nation".

* Just months later, on New Year's Eve, she fell into flood waters while visiting victims of Storm Frank in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny.

* Ms Burton hung on to her Dublin West seat against the odds in this year's general election. But it was a bitter-sweet win on a day that saw many of her colleagues lose theirs.

Online Editors