Monday 23 April 2018

Kelly's time will come, insists colleague he blamed for leadership flop

Fresh support: Jan O’Sullivan with Alan Kelly Picture: Tom Burke
Fresh support: Jan O’Sullivan with Alan Kelly Picture: Tom Burke
John Downing

John Downing

Labour TD Jan O'Sullivan has tried to pacify leadership contender Alan Kelly by telling him "his time will come."

Ms O'Sullivan and party colleagues in Limerick sought to smoothe over fallout from last week's blocking of Mr Kelly from a leadership election. Tensions persist about the election of Brendan Howlin on Friday without a vote. Ms O'Sullivan insisted she never suggested she would support Mr Kelly. She said he could be a future leader and it was his relative inexperience that deprived him of a seconder.

"I am satisfied I gave my support to the person who was the best candidate at this time. And I don't think anybody would expect that one would nominate, or second, somebody that you honestly didn't believe was the right person for the job.

"We felt we needed the experience of somebody like Brendan Howlin at this particular time," she told the 'Limerick Leader' yesterday.

Election strategist Joe Kemmy, a brother of the iconic TD Jim Kemmy, has criticised Ms O'Sullivan's failure to help deliver a members' vote on the leadership.

He said the handling of the leadership was "a stitch-up".

But members of the local Labour executive rallied to Deputy O'Sullivan, a TD since 1998, and said Mr Kemmy was speaking personally.

Other Limerick Labour activists also felt Mr Kelly, from neighbouring Tipperary, was entitled to a nomination.

But Ms O'Sullivan also said she did not think there would be "any more fall-out" following a local meeting, where she was challenged on her decision not to back Mr Kelly.

"We did have the resignation of one member, and it's known Gerry Burke has resigned. Joe Kemmy has spoken out on his own personal view. I believe that to be his personal view, and I don't think we are going to have any major problems at all in the party locally," she said.

Irish Independent

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