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Another Labour TD wants to be the party's deputy leader - but doesn't want to be a minister

Ciara Conway has declared her candidacy for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party.

Labour TD Ciara Conway
Labour TD Ciara Conway
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated 7.52pm 

LABOUR TD CIARA Conway today declared her intention to run for the deputy leadership of the party today, but says she will decline any offer of a Cabinet or junior minister position if elected.

The Waterford deputy made her intentions clear in a statement made in Dungarvan this morning, saying her candidacy is for one main reason.

“Our Party – its values, its ideals – has experienced a great setback,” she said. “We need to be inspired again. Made enthusiastic, committed to a future based on the values of equality, community, solidarity with each other, freedom and dignity. We need to rediscover hope.”

She said that the party has made mistakes in recent weeks in not recognising the medical cards issue or the garda whistleblowers’ concerns until recently.

Outlining her intention not to accept any ministerial position, Conway said that while she would expect to attend all meetings of Labour ministers she does not want to be “compromised by the vested interest of Cabinet or Ministerial position”.

She added: “I believe that that the Party Leader should be a senior Cabinet member when the Party is in government.

“But there is a strong need for someone who is willing to serve without office, who would be an integral part of the leadership, but in constant connection with the organisation at large.”

Conway was part of the so-called ‘gang of eight’ who tabled a motion of no confidence in Eamon Gilmore hours before he announced his intention to resign as party leader.

Another member of the ‘gang of eight’, Dublin North-Central TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, is supporting Conway:

Conway, who was first elected to the Dáil in 2011, has backed Minister Alex White for the leadership of Labour as he contests with the party’s current deputy leader Joan Burton.

She faces competition for the deputy leadership from fellow Munster-based TDs Seán Sherlock, Michael McCarthy and Alan Kelly who all declared their intentions last week.

Meanwhile Burton and White could face further competition today if Kerry North-West TD Arthur Spring, a nephew of former tánaiste Dick Spring, decides to contest the leadership.

Spring, who was first elected to the Dáil in 2011, has kept his cards close to his chest after declaring his interest in running on RTÉ Radio last week.

However, he is expected to make his intentions clear today.

Nominations for the positions of leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party close at noon tomorrow before a month long postal ballot prior to the results of both contests being announced on 4 July.

First published 11am

Read: Just how toxic is the Labour party?*

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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