Eamon Gilmore addressing the 200-strong crowd at the vigil
Last night the Party Leader Eamon Gilmore TD addressed approximately 200 people who attended the candlelit vigil held outside the Dáil organised by Labour LGBT to highlight the continued inequality of treatment of same-sex relationships in Ireland.
There has been widespread disappointment at the decision of the Government to vote down Labour's attempt to restore the Civil Union Bill 2006 to the Dail Order Paper. Instead of bringing forward progressive legislation, the Government has voted to put the issue of equality on the long finger.
The introduction last night of Labour's Civil Union's Bill during Private Members' Time in the Dail was one of the most exciting in the House in recent years. To a packed gallery, a rousing speech was given by Labour Justice spokesperson Brendan Howlin, followed by subsequent speeches by other members of the party.
Commending the Bill to the House Brendan said: "There are many Irish citizens in stable long-term partnerships who are denied legal recognition, who are denied the protections and rights of loving couples simply because of their gender.