Ex-Siptu boss Jack O'Connor ends Dáil bid for Labour
EX-SIPTU general secretary Jack O'Connor has stepped down as a Labour general election candidate in Wicklow.
Mr O'Connor's departure from the Dáil ticket follows the local and European election results in May where Labour won two seats on Wicklow County Council. The decision was taken at a meeting of Labour's constituency executive in Wicklow last night with Mr O'Connor making the proposal to step down himself.
Labour is pitching the ticket reshuffle as a generational change in the party with Wicklow Town-based councillor Paul O'Brien set to replace him as the party's general election candidate. A selection convention of local members will be held in the coming weeks.
Mr O'Brien won over 1,000 first preference votes in the Wicklow Town electoral district in May's local elections. An FAI referee and president of the Irish Soccer Referees Society, Mr O'Brien is also involved in several local organisations.
Mr O'Connor, a long-serving trade union boss and Labour's current party chairman, was selected to run in Wicklow in April 2018 at a time when the party had no elected representative in the county.
He said in a statement: "Now that we have local Councillors elected again, it is important to take the next step by offering the people a local person who they have already endorsed at the ballot box, as a candidate for the General Election."