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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 22 September, 2014

Eamon Gilmore will be hoping Europe’s top MEP can ease his Labour pains

It’s been a tough 24 hours for the Tánaiste but he has a big visitor today.

Martin Schulz with Eamon Gilmore on a visit to Dublin last year.
Martin Schulz with Eamon Gilmore on a visit to Dublin last year.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE PRESIDENT OF the European Parliament is in Dublin today and tomorrow to help Labour on its election campaign following a difficult 24 hours for the party.

Martin Schulz will arrive in Dublin later today following a turbulent start to the week for Labour with one of its two sitting MEPs, Phil Prendergast, calling for Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore to step down as leader of the party.

While senior party figures have rallied around Gilmore in an attempt to isolate Prendergast, a candidate in Ireland South, it’s the latest blow to the party which is at 6 per cent according to the latest opinion poll and faces losing all of its seats in the European Parliament.

Schulz is also the European Commission Presidency candidate for Labour’s parent group in the Parliament, the Party of the European Socialists.

He will be meeting with Labour candidates and campaign teams over the course of today and tomorrow.

This evening he will attend a reception with party members and candidates including Gilmore, Labour’s deputy leader Joan Burton and Education Minister Ruairí Quinn in central Dublin. Prendergast is expected to meet Gilmore at this event.

While tomorrow it’s an early start for Schulz as he hosts a breakfast briefing with Gilmore before he heads for Belfast later in the morning.

Elsewhere on the Election 2014 campaign trail today, the Taoiseach is on the road with visits to Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath as part of Fine Gael’s push for the local and European elections.

Enda Kenny will launch MEP Mairead McGuinness’s campaign to retain her seat in the vast Midlands North West constituency in Meath tonight after a series of campaign events across the region this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Socialist Party is launching its campaign for the European and Dublin West by-election in the capital later today.

Follow @oconnellhugh and @orlaryan for updates from the campaign trail over the coming weeks  

Follow all our Election 2014 coverage here > 

Read: Enda Kenny tells voters not to get ‘carried away with fantasy politics’ before May’s election

Read: There’s a blog celebrating Ireland’s ridiest election candidates

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