LABOUR Party members have joined in a chorus of condemnation of ex-party chairman Colm Keaveney who has resigned.
The East Galway TD announced his resignation from Labour outside Leinster House yesterday afternoon.
He said he could no longer go along with what he claimed was "increasingly like a political charade".
Emmet Stagg, Labour chief whip, welcomed his resignation saying he had "consistently attacked Labour" and had betrayed party members who elected him as their chairman.
Dubin TD Robert Dowds said he was disgusted by Mr Keaveney's decision.
He accused him of cowardice and not being willing to face up to the tough decisions that had to be taken by the Government.
Speaking after his announcement, Mr Keaveney said Labour promised one thing, then did another and blamed it on someone else. Members had to accept what they were given and the leadership would not tolerate any dissent, he claimed.
The East Galway TD said he was forced to make his decision as the only one which was honourable, although he did so with a heavy heart.
He resigned both as chairman and from the party itself but said he would continue to represent the people of his constituency and would not breach the contract they made with him.
Mr Keaveney lost the whip after voting against the Government on education cuts and has been a consistent critic of the party's performance.
He insisted that too many of those at the Cabinet table were "willing to trade what they held dear for one more hour in the sun".
The final straw, he added, was his inability to communicate with Education Minister Ruairi Quinn on cuts to special needs education in recent days.
As far as he was concerned, there was little point being chair of the party "when you are ignored by labour ministers when attempting to defend vulnerable people".
Yesterday's resignation is the second time Mr Keaveney has resigned from the party.