Labour will always struggle while the whole is less than the sum of its parts
Eamon Gilmore led a party of 37 deputies into the Dáil in 2011. It was a record: almost four times the party's normal representation.
Ever since, and notwithstanding the current improvement in the economy, it has been pretty much downhill all the way.
The departing leader has a sense of humour, though it mostly goes unnoticed by the people who listen to his well-constructed but unexciting speeches. He has explained his decision to leave politics by saying that "I wanted to finish the game, but I was carrying a lot of injuries."