In this post Rachel Walsh posts about the first session which saw Senator John Whelan welcome participants to Portlaoise followed by a panel which discussed the Importance of Equality in the current political landscape. The panelists were Deputy Anne Ferris, Tom Healy from the Nevin Economic Research Institute, Dan O'Neill from the Young Workers Network and Ian Power from Spun Out.
Each year, Labour Youth hosts this event for members and supporters of the Labour Party as a means of discussing and debating our hopes and aspirations for Ireland. Over the course of the weekend we’ll be hearing from guest speakers, participating in panel discussions and workshops and hosting hustings for the Labour Party Leadership elections.
On Monday evening we held the first of our leadership hustings in Dublin North. Standing for Party Leader is Minister Joan Burton and Minister of State Alex White. The Deputy Leader position is being contested by Deputy Ciara Conway, Minister of State Alan Kelly, Deputy Michael McCarthy and Minister of State Sean Sherlock.
It was standing room only in the packed out hall as party members gathered to listen to the candidate's stake their claim on each position before it was down to party members to quiz the candidates.
If you were unable to attend the event, we have posted each candidate's speech below. The next hustings will take place in Galway on Monday evening and will be livestreamed on our website.
This evening saw the first of our Leadership hustings take place in Dublin. We've prepared some posts on each of the candidates and below you'll find a link to each of the candidates who are running for the position of Party Leader.
This evening saw the first of our Leadership hustings take place in Dublin. We've prepared some posts on each of the candidates and below you'll find a link to each of the candidates who are running for the position of Deputy Leader.
Alex White was brought up in Marino on the north side of Dublin. He was educated in Scoil Mhuire CBS in Marino, Chanel College in Coolock and Trinity College. He is married to Mary Corcoran. They have two children, Maeve and Fintan, and live in Terenure.
Alex worked for many years as a radio producer in RTE. He was Chair of the SIPTU branch in RTE and Vice-Chair of the Public Sector Regional Executive. He later qualified as a barrister and specialised in Labour Law. In 2004 he was elected to Dublin South County Council. He was elected to the Seanad in 2007 and to the Dail four years later.
I serve as Minister for Research and Innovation in both the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills. I was first elected to Dáil Eireann in 2007. I have served as a Town Councillor and County Councillor. I have also served as Mayor of Mallow. I am a member of the Cabinet sub-committee on Economic Recovery and Jobs. The sub-committee is the primary driver for the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. I am a member of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Climate Change. I have led diplomatic missions. During Ireland’s Presidency of the European Unions, I led the negotiations on the €80 billion Horizon 2020 research and jobs stimulus package, from which up to €1.25 billion will be drawn down to bring higher education closer to industry. Under the Programme for Government I have primary responsibility for the development of the Social Enterprise sector. I am chairman of the Research Prioritisation Group which brings together all State funders of research to identify new areas to create jobs utilising the output from our tertiary education sector. I have served as spokesperson for Agriculture and previously was a member of the Economic Regulatory Affairs Committee. I hope to bring my political experience to bear in ensuring a solid future for our party. I am a committed Social Democrat. I want to use the energy that I have to make our Party a grassroots, campaign focused, democratic movement. I believe strongly that every individual member is equal. I do not believe in hierarchies.
As members of the Labour Party we share the same beliefs and hold the same outlook. Our commitment to a genuinely Social Democratic ideal unites us all. It is fundamental to our identity. It determines and shapes who we are and what we want. We have to reassert the fact that we deal only in credible, realistic, attainable goals. We have to be persuasive. We have to make compelling arguments. Our performance in government has to be convincing. Our presence in government has to be forceful, our influence strong, our approach assertive and confident. This contest for Deputy Leader is not about the four candidates for the position. It is about members of the Labour Party throughout the country. The loyal supporters who went out and campaigned day and night for the Party, who had to make and remake the case for the Party in their workplaces and communities, the candidates who were elected and those who were not. My ambition is to be a voice for all Party members. As Deputy Leader, I will work to shape and guide our Party towards a complete restoration of the sense of pride and purpose that has driven and sustained the Labour Party since its foundation. That is why I am asking you for your No. 1 vote as Deputy Leader. Tweets: Our job is to make it plain that Labour’s participation in government is essential to the future well being of our country We have the ability to convert the current crisis into an opportunity to reshape our policies & to redefine our role in gov. Together we must ensure that we do not hand society back to those same vested interests who created the crisis. We are not going to turn around & walk out on our ideal of an equitable society on the basis of 1 election result. We are not quitters! We will no longer be shoved to the front to take the blame or pushed to the back to let someone else take the praise.