Sunday 17 December 2017

Daniel McConnell: Only a seismic shift in policy can save Labour from annihilation

All too often, the junior coalition party has been outfoxed by Fine Gael

Daniel McConnell

Daniel McConnell

IT WAS Saturday night in late October 2011, in the Mansion House in Dublin. Labour Party TDs, advisers and members, including leader Eamon Gilmore, gathered to celebrate Michael D Higgins's election as the ninth President of Ireland earlier that day.

It was a major milestone for the junior coalition party, and the dramatic last-minute surge by the party's colourful grandee, following the collapse of Sean Gallagher's presidential campaign, added to the delight. Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is always the most satisfying type of triumph.

As the attendees mingled, the phrase "Why not celebrate? We'll never be this popular again", could be heard.

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