I would like to wish you all the very best for the year ahead. This time last year I said that 2013 would be the year when we would begin to have sight of the long hoped for economic recovery. That has happened and now as we start into 2014 we can dare to hope again for the first time since the crisis began.
This Sunday, the Troika will leave Ireland after three long years. Although their exit will not wave a magic wand over our finances, it is an important day which underscores not just the hard work taken to get us here, but also symbolises a new juncture in Ireland’s journey post-bailout.
[Listen to the Tánaiste's speech made to the IIEA earlier today.]
Leaders' Questions lead by the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore saw debate on the CRC salary top-ups controversy, and an ESRI Report on Budget adjustments. You can watch the entire proceedings back from the video clip.
On Friday 22 November I held a regional consultation seminar on the Youth Guarantee at the Maldron Hotel, Tallaght. This year, I have held five events across Dublin, in Tallaght, Swords, Dun Laoghaire and the City Centre, to encourage those working in youth support and education to give their suggestions on how the European Youth Guarantee might be rolled out. The findings from these events will be submitted to Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, ahead of Ireland’s application to the Youth Guarantee programme before the end of the year.
A group of LGBT Labour party members set up the Labour LGBT group in 2003 working with the Parliamentary Labour Party, with Ministers, Councillors, TDs, community groups and others over the past ten years to create change for LGBT people in Ireland. Some of our work has included:
The theme of the Labour Party conference 2013 was Working Together:
Working Together on behalf of the Irish people, Working Together with our partners in Government to create jobs and build economic recovery, Working Together as elected representatives, members, and supporters of the Labour Party.
Our team of Ministers at the Cabinet Table have also been working together to fix the mess we inherited from Fianna Fail, exit the bailout programme, and get our people back to work.
That task hasn’t been easy. But we have made enormous progress and on December 15th will say goodbye to the troika. The short video tells the story of how we went about that challenge.
At the Labour Party conference 2013 we marked the 100 year anniversary of the 1913 Lockout. Our party, trade unions, our members and our supporters, continue to draw inspiration from those events.
Over the 100 years since the Lockout, the Labour movement has contributed so much to the struggle for social and economic justice in Ireland. That struggle continues to this day through our work in Government in bringing Ireland out of the bailout.
This video captures the Labour movement's Century of Struggle and Achievement.