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Johnny Fallon: A sense at the Labour conference of a party wrestling with its conscience

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Tanaiste and Labour Party leader
Eamon Gilmore with Cork TD
Ciaran Lynch (left) and Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, after his keynote address to the Labour conference over the weekend

Tanaiste and Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore with Cork TD Ciaran Lynch (left) and Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, after his keynote address to the Labour conference over the weekend

Tanaiste and Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore with Cork TD Ciaran Lynch (left) and Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, after his keynote address to the Labour conference over the weekend

NATIONAL conferences of political parties are supposed to be all about their membership and grassroots. This is meant to be their opportunity to formulate policy, network and hold the leadership to account. In the modern age parties spend more time worrying how the conference will appear to the outside world and to potential voters than they do their existing membership.





he Labour party is at its strongest in Dublin. It’s in the capital that the party really holds sway and has had its biggest impact. Now, as a culchie I might make many criticisms of Dublin but one thing I have to admit is that it is the one place in Ireland that has direct routes from all the regions. Therefore it’s a sensible base for any national conference. With these facts in mind one wonders what draws the Labour party to Galway? Lovely as the city is one might think the potential membership base in Dublin is far stronger. Looking at the attendance at the Labour Party conference, I had to wonder if the numbers would not have been far greater had they held it in Dublin.




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