Gilmore is now walking a tightrope as Labour leader
Willie Penrose's resignation has heightened the jitters within Labour over Eamon Gilmore's leadership style, writes Daniel McConnell
IN a speech last week, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore spoke of 2011 being an historic year for the Labour Party. The party won its highest-ever number of Dail seats last February, is now sitting in government and Michael D Higgins's presidential victory is the icing on the cake.
On the one hand, Mr Gilmore is justified in calling himself the most successful Labour leader in history. That, however, belies the deep divisions within his own party, the existence of a number of high-profile disaffected party members surrounding him -- including some of his own ministers -- and questions lingering over his effectiveness as leader.
Often in politics, inter-party divisions, scars or animosities are suppressed, so the wider public is not aware of them. But deep cracks in the Labour veneer have surfaced in the past seven days.