Annual Connolly Commemoration
Posted on May 14, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Yesterday Labour TDs, MEPs, Senators, Cllrs and members met at Arbour Hill to commemorate James Connolly the founder of the Labour Party.
The Labour Party Leader and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said that during our centenary year we can look back with pride on Labour's role in forging a 'democratic, progressive, peaceful Ireland. He went on to say how Connolly was a 'patriot, an internationalist, an idealist, a socialist' and these values which have driven the party since its foundation are unchanged today.
"That was our past, it is also our future. Because the values that have driven the Labour Party from its foundations are unchanging. Ireland has changed. Labour has changed Ireland. But our party's purpose has not.
"James Connolly has been claimed by many. But talk is easy. The challenge is to walk in his footsteps. To chart a way forward, no matter what the obstacles. To keep faith with those who have entrusted us with our country's destiny. To maintain that vision of an Ireland, where progress is measured by the reach of our children's opportunities.
"I know that is difficult. The damage that has been done to our country over many years will take longer than 14 months to fix. We are facing, as a party, and as a movement, what may be one of our greatest challenges yet. The State that Labour helped to found is confronted by an economic crisis that has at times threatened to overwhelm it.
"Our fellow men and women are once more confronted by fundamental needs: the need for good jobs, for secure incomes, for the chance to build a life in their own country. We are once more thrown back to the very basic concerns that motivated the founders of our party. The work that we have to do, is to guide our country through this crisis, and from it forge a better Ireland.
"Over the past year, we have worked night and day to do just that. To restore Ireland's reputation as a good and stable place in which to invest and do business."
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