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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 24 April, 2014

Labour councillors resign after Gilmore fails to meet them

Two Wicklow county councillors joined TD Patrick Nulty in leaving the Labour Party today, citing the party’s “loss in credibility”.

Labour councillor Barry Nevin
Labour councillor Barry Nevin

TWO MEMBERS OF Wicklow County Council have resigned from the Labour Party after the Tanáiste failed to respond to their request for a meeting.

Chairman of Wicklow County Council Tom Fortune and Wicklow county councillor Barry Nevin made their move at a joint press conference this morning, citing a loss of “credibility” in the party.

The resignations add to the party’s worries, after Dublin West TD Patrick Nulty resigned from the party earlier in the morning. Nulty had lost the party whip 18 months ago after voting against the 2012 budget.

Councillor Tom Fortune said that the party had “totally lost touch with councillors and with the public,” adding “their credibility is gone”.

Nevin confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the pair, along with three other councillors, had sought a meeting with Tanáiste Eamon Gilmore eight weeks ago, but that Gilmore had not responded.

“We had sought meetings with ministers and junior ministers and these weren’t forthcoming.

“So, eight weeks ago, we asked for a meeting with Eamon Gilmore and he hasn’t responded.

We have to take from that that he is not interested

Nevin says that the decision not to meet with councillors is “incredible”.

“It is incredible to think that a Labour councillor can’t get access to a Labour minister. Even in the worst days of Fianna Fáil, cabinet members would still listen to councillors.”

Nevin says that the party has “become very centralised, with three or four people running it” and added that he has heard rumblings that others may follow himself, Fortune and Nulty.

“I’m sure there are councillors and Labour backbenchers who are now thinking about their positions.

People voted for Labour because they wanted a change, but Labour has very much failed to deliver on their mandate.

Read: TD Patrick Nulty resigns as Labour Party member

Read: “My salary is reflective of the importance of my position” – €100k Mayor of Cork

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