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Burton hopes voters will reward Labour next year as day two of conference gets underway

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore will give his party leader address to delegates in Killarney tonight.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore addressing delegates last night
Labour leader Eamon Gilmore addressing delegates last night
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

SOCIAL PROTECTION MINISTER Joan Burton has said that she hopes voters will acknowledge the work Labour has done in government when it comes to next year’s local and European elections.

She was speaking last night as the Labour Party conference got underway in Killarney. The conference is expected to hear from Burton and other senior Labour figures today including Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore in his party leader address tonight.

Among the motions to be considered on day two of the conference will be a call for the party’s ministers to be “demonstrably and persistently more assertive” in pursuing Labour policies in government.

Speaking last night, Burton defended her party’s record saying it had worked hard in helping to bring Ireland to the point of economic recovery.

“I think the Labour Party has worked very hard and played an important role in turning the Irish economy around,” she told the media.

“But also in emphasising the importance in Ireland of investing in education, in the health services and in social welfare services.”

Asked about Labour’s rise to 12 per cent in a Sunday Business Post/Red C poll published last Sunday, she said she is focused on the “really important poll” next June.

“I think that when it comes to that important poll, when it comes to the local and European elections, I would hope that people would acknowledge and recognise that [Labour's record in government].”

Burton is expected to reiterate her call for the gradual introduction of a ‘Living Wage’ in Ireland today, having made the case in a recent speech and a column for TheJournal.ie during the week.

SIPTU president Jack O’Connor is to address the conference later, while Gilmore will give a televised address to conference at 8.30pm.

LIVE: The 66th Labour Party national conference in Killarney

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Read: 18 interesting motions to be considered at the Labour conference this weekend

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Hugh O'Connell

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