Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Laois-Offaly Labour Troubles

with 9 comments

Irish Times Story :

Gilmore defends selection process

Includes news of a possible  new affiliation to the

United Left Alliance :

“Meanwhile, Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins addressed a meeting in Portlaoise last night where a new left-wing group was expected to be established for Laois-Offaly. It is envisaged the group will affiliate to the United Left Alliance.”

god bless the bourgeois press…..

Written by tomasoflatharta

Jan 12, 2011 at 1:50 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Liam Dumpleton, ULA Candidate in Laois-Offaly :


    Jan 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    • Here is a reposted comment from the Cedar Lounge Site which adds useful information on the Laois-Offaly ULA campaign :

      “Is Mise – Eoin Breathnach – January 18, 2011

      Just to fill in the blanks here,

      For a very long time (not just in laois/Offaly) many labour people have felt uncomfortable within the party witnessing the way it is drifting away from the left, it really was only a matter of time & the correct political alternative to be established before the real left wing socialist within the party moved to a concrete socialist alternative.
      I can assure you first hand that the contact with the ULA was sought & facilitated by the members here in laios offaly & after meeting with joe higgins everyone found joe to be exactly as he has proved over the years a principled, honest, straight up man & there was no ‘thought police’ involved.
      The decision to depart with Lab was not a snap decisions but was a long time coming & has been replicated across the nation within lab.
      This in itself speaks volumes about the politics of lab today.
      The ULA has established a coherent constituency council now comprised mainly of former labour members here in laois Offaly & the candidates campaign is immenently underway.
      The organisation will build to have a credible voice for the people & not just for a party looking to maximise its votes & dail seats by compromising its core priciples in order to share power.”


      Jan 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm


      A meeting was held in the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise, on Tuesday 11th January 2011 to finalise discussions regarding the formation, in Laois/Offaly, of a new leftwing movement operating under the banner of the United Left Alliance. Thirty-three people attended, excluding visitors from other constituencies.
      Ray Fitzpatrick acted as Chairperson and after a preamble outlining the rationale for creating a new left-of-centre group the meeting was opened up to the floor for discussion. An hour’s debate ensued where all points of view were aired in a comradely fashion. The chairperson brought the debate to a close and briefly summarised the main points, as he understood them. He then proposed the formation of this new group, which was seconded by Georgina Cully.
      Twenty concurred; there was no dissent the remainder abstained. The next item on the agenda was the election of officers, who were proposed, seconded and accepted unanimously: Chairperson, Eoin Breathnach; Secretary, Georgina Cully, Vice-Chair, Ray FitzPatrick: Treasurer Jim Bartlett; PRO Liam Dumpeldon.
      On completion of the above Jack Feehan of Birr, proposed Liam Dumpleton as a candidate for the next General Election, it was seconded by Jim Lalor-Fitzpatrick, Mountrath and endorsed unanimously. There was also a proposal for a second candidate from Laois and for the selection of a name for the group. The Chairperson suggested, “Since there is no one from Laois at the moment prepared to allow their name go forward and the name of the group had yet to be decided, it might be better to defer these suggestions for consideration to the elected committee who could then report back to the group at the next meeting.” Ray then congratulated Liam on his election and invited him to join the guest speakers.
      The meeting was now addressed by Joe Higgins, MEP, Socialist Party, who outlined the challenge that lay ahead. “The General Election,” he said, “will be fought on the grounds of the IMF/ECB sell-out regardless of how much distance the establishment parties try to put between it and the election. The people know and recognise that they have been sold out, so, this point can be pushed even with traditional voters on the canvass.”
      Seamus Healy of the Workers and Unemployed Action Group and former TD for South Tipperary gave a wonderful insight into how a small-determined group of political activists can overcome the obstacles of money and logistics in an election campaign. While Conor MacLiam informed the meeting of his political epiphany; when on the verge of abstaining from the whole political process because of the corruption and lies that seem so endemic to it, when his daughter introduced him to the Socialist Party, a party he never considered; now he is going to contest the General Election under the umbrella of the ULA as a candidate for Carlow Kilkenny.
      Liam Dumpleton now addressed the meeting and spoke of his passion to provide a real Leftwing alternative for the people of Laois/Offaly: to oppose cuts which would impact on working people and the unemployed and to highlight the consensus that has emerged between the main political parties. Liam also signed up to the ULA pledge.

      As a point of interest; a number of those who abstained have since expressed their desire to join the group while all have committed themselves to working and helping out in the forthcoming campaign.


      Jan 19, 2011 at 7:48 am

      • I wonder what happened for these Labour party members to have such a sudden conversion? I know that miracles do happen but this appears to be stretching it a bit too far. Bit like Mae Sexton joining Labour from the PDs.


        Jan 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm

  2. Should this item be posted here or on A remarkably prohetic and succinct political trajectory from Fintan O’Tool’s ‘Irish Times’ colummn yesterday. All the more remarkbale in that it come from a (as far as I know) Labour supporter. It underscores too the idea that a second electoral shift will come before the election after next and that the ULA (patience please) will really come into its own (electorally anyway) after Labour and SF have had a chance to let us see what they do.

    “Consider the following scenario. Fine Gael and Labour take office. Enda Kenny remains wooden and unconvincing. The coalition does not manage a substantial renegotiation of the IMF-EU deal. The domestic economy remains in the doldrums, with rising poverty, high unemployment, a mortgage crisis and social unrest. The momentum for radical institutional reform is blunted.

    FF, meanwhile, has a new young leader, relatively untainted by the collapse. It allies itself in Opposition with a growing Sinn Féin. Within two years, Fianna Fáil is back in business. An FF/SF coalition wins the next election.”

    Des Derwin

    Jan 19, 2011 at 3:26 pm

  3. Video : Raymond FitzPatrick on the formation of the Laois-Offaly United Left Alliance


    Jan 28, 2011 at 12:04 am

  4. This belated explanation from Laois Offaly is taken from Eoin Breathnach answers a question from 14th January. It’s an answer too to many who have asked just this question on more than one occasion on more than one website.

    please explain
    by very confused
    Fri Jan 14, 2011 22:38

    Eoin – can you please explain what has changed in the political thinking of the group of people who met on 11/1 in the Herirtage Hotel? A month earlier they were willing to support and canvass for the Labour party – if their preferred candidate was selected. Now they are described as “willing to form a new left wing movement to offer a real principled democratic alternative to the establishment parties & join with the united left alliance for the forthcoming election”
    How do their policies differ from those they were willing to support and canvass for a month ago?

    by Eóin Breathnach
    Fri Jan 28, 2011 13:04

    The people who left the convention could not stomach a candidate who was not a real committed socialist, this was only the last straw from the Labour party that the members have seen compromise now all of its principles in order to get into power.

    A lot of members would have most likely supported one of the councillors that put their name forward as they have proven their committment to socialism over the years, however the course of action the labour party has taken in agreeing to bind itself into the deadlines of the EU & now recently facilitating the passage of the finance bill that cuts the minimum wage among other things, i feel would have had the same effect has their been no selection convention row.

    Labour has been slowly inching away from its identity of socialism for many years now & that has been eating away at a lot of members, the last 6 months have been such an acceleration away from socialism i doubt the majority of members could have stomached it anyway.

    The truth is that a lot of socialists feel uncomfortable within labour but are willing to try & bring a socialist influence from within the party, the members that have now left feel almost liberated as they can push forward without barriers for a real force of socialist influence and change with the ULA.

    Des Derwin

    Jan 30, 2011 at 12:24 am

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