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‘Ever since they entered the coalition, the writing was on the wall’

when times were tough Eamon Gilmore could always rely on the support of his constituents in Dun Laoghaire. There was much sympathy in the coastal town for him last night.

Tony McCardle (63) Convent Road, Dun Laoghaire: “Gilmore was right to go. He should never have taken up the Foreign Affairs post.

“He was voted for, mostly, 
because people wanted him to have influence at home and not do some kind of disappearing act.

“It was unfortunate that the 
Labour council forced his hand, the party should have left him to make the decision.”

Marc McMenamim (27), Mulgrave Road, Dun Laoghaire said: “He probably should have stayed as leader; it smacks of self-preservation.

“I think the party are more concerned with saving face than solving the problems that are out there. By staying, Labour would have showed more grit, by forcing him to step down they are just engaging in the politics of optics.”

Jackie McGrath, Eglington Park Dun Laoghaire: “I’m sorry to see him go because he has been a great local TD. It’s a shame because, really, Fine Gael are the ones that need the trouncing. Whether he was able for the boys in Fine Gael is another story. He was just grist to the mill, really.”

Wyn McCorcmack, Stillorgan said: “I think his stepping down was inevitable. Ever since they entered the coalition, the writing was on the wall. It was only a matter of time.

Angela Jenkins (30), Killiney:

“I think it’s surprising to see an Irish politician so quick to fall on his sword. It’s always good to have someone with a high profile in the area, so that will probably be tough on the area.”