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Eamon Gilmore: 'I think we’ve had a bad couple of months'

The Tánaiste has told TheJournal.ie that the issues surrounding the gardaí have distracted the government from its agenda and explained why he’s bullish about Labour’s election prospects.

Updated 10.50pm

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Camera: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has admitted that the agenda has been set for the government rather than the other way around in recent months.

Gilmore said the coalition has had “a bad couple of months” and the controversy surrounding An Garda Siochána and “justice issues” has been “very frustrating for us”.

He said that a new programme for government is not needed but that “there are issues that now have to be addressed” citing job creation in the regions and improving living standards.

He said: “One of the things that I hear as I travel around the country, whether it is in Waterford or Galway or Cavan, are people saying: ‘Well, yes, we know that jobs are being created but there isn’t a regional spread.’ We have to see a regional spread in that.”

Gilmore was speaking in a wide-ranging interview with TheJournal.ie at our offices in Dublin today where he also bullishly claimed that Labour is in contention for two European Parliament seats in Friday’s election.

“The opinion poll that’s out today puts the party in contention for two seats,” he said, claiming that Lorraine Higgins in Midlands North-West and sitting MEP Emer Costello in Dublin are in with a chance.

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Gilmore Hugh The Tánaiste was speaking to TheJournal.ie at our offices in Dublin this afternoon. Source: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

He did not refer to the prospects of Ireland South MEP Phil Prendergast – who called for him to resign as Labour leader- but said that electoral battle in Dublin will see people having a choice between Costello and “the party that got us into the crisis” – Fianna Fáil and its candidate Mary Fitzpatrick. 

Gilmore also declined to make any prediction about how Labour might do in Friday’s local and European elections. 

He said: “I think everybody realistically expects that you don’t get all of your candidates elected…. I am not going to make a prediction, I never have.”

He said that the nearly 200 Labour candidates running across the country could look to the fact that Labour councillors have had a good track record, have “never been in anyone’s pocket” and “never been bought”.

Tomorrow on TheJournal.ie: More from our interview with the Tánaiste including water charges, his future, and that of the government. 

- First pulished 5.57pm

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Hugh O'Connell

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