Ex-PD 'has no hang-up' about run for Labour
FORMER PD TD Mae Sexton has justified her decision to make the leap from a right-wing party to the left-wing Labour party by saying she was never "hung up" on ideology.
She was previously a TD for the Progressive Democrats from 2002-2007 when the party pushed forward policies such as hospital co-location, tax breaks for developers and argued that "inequality is an inevitable part of the society of incentives" that Ireland had become.
But Ms Sexton, who is now going to run for Labour in Longford-Westmeath in the next general election, denied that her PD background was a problem.
"I really never held dear to any particular philosophical ideology. I believe the wastage, the recklessness, the greed that occurred, has everybody re-thinking what they believe in," she said.
Ms Sexton was first elected to Longford County Council as an independent in 1991 and later joined the PDs.
She quit the PD party after it was almost wiped out in the 2007 general election and won back her old seat on Longford County Council as an independent candidate last year.
Her decision to join Labour was welcomed yesterday by its sole Longford-Westmeath TD Willie Penrose.
"Our job is to recruit people of the calibre of Mae Sexton to ensure the Labour party has a presence in Longford and now in Roscommon-South Leitrim. Cavan-Monaghan is our next stop and Laois-Offaly," he said.
Labour has recently recruited former independent councillor John Kelly to run in Roscommon-South Leitrim, while former independent TD Dr Jerry Cowley will stand for the party in Mayo.
Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said his party wanted to increase its presence in areas where it had not been traditionally strong.