Tuesday 23 January 2018

Knives are out for Labour front ranks in wake of meltdown

Labour's Michael McNamara and (right) Eamon Gilmore
Labour's Michael McNamara and (right) Eamon Gilmore

Fionnan Sheahan, Group Political Editor

YOUNGER Labour Party TDs want the party's old guard put out to pasture and for some fresh blood to be brought into the ministerial ranks.

Ruairi Quinn, Pat Rabbitte, Jan O'Sullivan and Joe Costello are all in the firing line from party colleagues who want Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore to do a clear out.

Backbenchers suspect some of the veterans won't be running in the next general election, but won't declare their future intentions now as it would bring an end to their political careers.

"Some of these f***ers haven't a notion of running in the next general election," a party TD said. "There's a younger breed of TDs who will not stand for it. Ruairi and Pat have been around since the early 1990s, if not the 1980s. Most of the current administration was in the Rainbow government 20 years ago. "You have two splits now - the boys who are out of the gap with their houses paid for and their kids raised and the rest of us there with a mortgage in the middle of the boom," the TD added.

"I think people are demanding an intergenerational shift," another TD said.

As a result there are mounting calls for junior ministers Alex White, Alan Kelly and Sean Sherlock to be promoted to Cabinet and younger TDs to be brought into the junior ministerial ranks. Labour TD Michael McNamara called for the entire frontranks of the party to resign from Government.

Mr McNamara said the election results did not necessarily mean Mr Gilmore's leadership would be brought into question.

He called for the entire front ranks of the party to resign from Government.

"I think Eamon is going to have to prove his mettle now. It does clearly cause his leadership to be brought into question," he said. "I have always said that the leadership of the Labour party is not limited to Eamon Gilmore. We have five ministers at Cabinet and each and every one of them have to take responsibility for this," he told Clare FM. "As a collective, as a party, we now have to sit back. We now have to think what it is we want to achieve in the next two years." Mr McNamara said the solution was not simple. "I don't think it is enough to say we stopped 'x' happening or stopped 'y' happening.

Irish Independent

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