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'We've an absent leader. He's no good to the party': Ex-councillor quits Labour

Steve Wrenn quit as a Dublin city councillor earlier this year to focus on his job, but he’s now cancelled his Labour Party membership altogether.

Steven Wrenn
Steven Wrenn
Image: Labour Party via Flickr

A FORMER DUBLIN City Councillor, who quit politics earlier this year to focus on his job, has now cancelled his Labour membership altogether, saying the party has thrown its commitments to fairness “out the window”.

Steve Wrenn’s decision follows a turbulent week for Labour which saw three of its sitting councillors quit the party over their unhappiness with its decisions in government bring to 26 the total number of resignations at a local government level since Labour went into coalition.

Wrenn stepped down as a councillor at the end of August to focus on his work in child protection services, but said he would have resigned from Labour anyway had he remained on the council.

“I don’t want to be part of a party that is inactive,” Wrenn told today after informing Labour that he wants to cancel his membership.

“We’ve an absent leader, he’s no good to the party.

“He [Eamon Gilmore] can’t do the job because he’s away most of the time. They’re winging it until the next general election. There will be a better Budget next year and the party thinks people will vote them back in again.”

He said that he had joined the Labour Party because of its policies in relation to fairness and supporting health service workers and gardaí, but said “that’s all gone out the window”.

He said Labour in government “has done nothing to support child protection services” and added: “I can’t be part of that any more.”

Wrenn also said that the loss of Dublin city councillor Paddy Bourke, who also quit Labour this week, is a “major blow” for the party in the capital.

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He said: “I would admire Paddy, he’s a straight-laced, straight-talking, very busy councillor and that is a huge blow to the Labour Party locally.”

Wrenn said he understands attempts will be made by Labour to fill the council seat he vacated at a meeting this Tuesday and said he does not have any intention of getting back into politics.

He added: “One of the things that never sat well with me was I found it very difficult to seek praise. In my work, when I finish a case I move on. I found it difficult to be told by our TDs I should have to throw a thousand leaflets around to say how I helped people.”

Read: Gilmore ‘very proud’ of ‘courageous’ Labour members who’ve stuck with the party

More: The 26 councillors who have left the Labour Party over its role in government

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Hugh O'Connell

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