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Those top political goodbyes are very rarely pretty – just like Alan Kelly’s ousting from Labour

John Downing


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Joan Burton congratulated by former Labour leader Eamon Gilmore after she was announced as the party's new leader in 2014. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Joan Burton congratulated by former Labour leader Eamon Gilmore after she was announced as the party's new leader in 2014. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Joan Burton congratulated by former Labour leader Eamon Gilmore after she was announced as the party's new leader in 2014. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

You could call it the “sack race” with relative – rarely total – success being measured in the length of time the incumbent manages to avoid the inevitable fall.

The manner and timing of Alan Kelly’s forced exit were not very edifying. But take a quick scoot back through some of Ireland’s uglier leader farewells and you’ll find he is in good company.


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