Friday 20 April 2018

Labour mourns in private over three-day trauma

Eamon Gilmore. Picture: Arthur Carron
Eamon Gilmore. Picture: Arthur Carron
Lise Hand

Lise Hand

AFTER three days of trauma – the election bloodbaths on Saturday and Sunday and the resignation of their party leader on Monday – Labour TDs and senators abandoned their brave faces behind the closed doors of their parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday.

Afterwards, Brendan Howlin described it as the most emotional meeting he'd been to in 30 years.

There was more sorrow than anger – the tone had been set by chairman Jack Wall, who told the assembly: "we can't let the party implode over this".

A very emotional Eamon Gilmore spoke, and admitted that he did consider whether to stay and fight, and was quite upset he wasn't able to do it on his own terms.

Some of the rebels spoke, too – Aodhan O'Riordain was visibly shaken, accepting the no-confidence motion wasn't the right thing to do and the group wouldn't have proceeded if they knew Eamon was stepping down.

It was evident that everybody was gutted that so many councillors were wiped out.

It was a bittersweet day for Mr Gilmore's chief of staff, Mark Garrett. At the same time that his boss was announcing his resignation on Monday, Mark's wife gave birth to their second child, son Ferdia.

Doleful picture as hurler Feeney appeals for support

Junior Tourism and Sports Minister Michael Ring was flung upon the horns of a dilemma this week after he spotted a forlorn quote from Mayo hurler Kenny Feeney in the 'Mayo News'.

The county hurlers labour in the shadow of the football team – nonetheless they've managed the not-inconsiderable feat of reaching the semi-final of the Christy Ring Cup in Castlebar today.

And so their top scorer Kenny put out a plea in the 'Mayo News' for his countymen and women to come and support them. "I would love to see a crowd at all our games," said the Tooreen man. "We had four people in Wicklow on Saturday. Two Mayo men down from Dublin who didn't know each other and just met at the ground and two of the players' mothers."

It's a doleful picture, and Michael Ring was gung-ho to go and offer his support – until he discovered that the 1pm start-time clashed with an engagement elsewhere.

"I'm launching the new Blueway water trail in Louisburgh, so it's a pity I won't be able to make it, but I would call on the people of Mayo to rally around the team, for Mayo people are great sports fans, whether it's football, hurling or soccer," he said.

Perhaps the Taoiseach will rock up to MacHale Park today – it's on his home turf, and he could probably do with a bit of R'n'R after the week that's been in it.

Irish Independent

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