Heretofore fringe events at the Labour Party Conference have concentrated on Party sections delivering workshops with panels of guest speakers on topics associated with their area of work or party staff delivering training. While these will continue to be the backbone of conference between plenary sessions, this year the Connolly Café was launched.
Taking place on the Friday night, an impressive panel was moderated by Irish Times political journalist Fiach Kelly, our nighthawks version of a late night panel discussion began on the topic of ‘how social democrats deal with populism’.
Tonight our annual conference starts in Killarney. Aside from a packed weekend of debate, among the highlights include the Tánaiste Joan Burton’s speech on Saturday night, presenting awards to long-standing members and workshops.
Every year at conference we endeavor to bring you the vast majority of conference online, from livestreaming the entire weekend’s debates, regular updates on our blog, posting videos of speeches to our YouTube channel, constantly updating Flickr with photographs from the weekend, regular updates on Facebook and live-tweeting the conference (#LP15).
Saturday morning’s discussions at Conference revolved around four main themes. Minister Joan Burton opened proceedings with an overview of the issues at stake. This was followed by contributions on creating jobs and supporting businesses in local communities, which saw a range of ideas and proposals on fostering job creation and promoting the retail environments of small towns in particular.
The second session looked at measures brought in by Labour in government to support hard-pressed families. Free GP care, the book rental scheme, action on school uniforms and internet safety were among the measures discussed.
Speakers then addressed ideas on supporting small towns and villages. Candidates spoke from local experience on issues such as broadband, the Purple Flag scheme, youth cafés and tourism as means to stimulate and support their local economy and community.
Environmental issues, currently so topical in the wake of severe flooding in parts of the country, were among the issues put front and centre in the next session. Climate change, green gyms, and action on anti-social behaviour featured in the wide-ranging discussion.
The final session addressed the many schemes that have been introduced at local level for housing and transport. Action by Labour Ministers on unfinished estates, boarded up housing, and support for rural transport, bike schemes and cycle ways were highlighted by candidates from around the country.
The Labour Party conference is being held tomorrow (February 15th) in Enfield. Among the key highlights of our conference is the Party Leader Eamon Gilmore’s speech on Saturday night, the presentations of awards to long-standing members, as well as the weekend's debates and workshops.
The vast majority of the conference will be available to follow online, from livestreaming the entire weekend’s debates, regular blog posts from each session, the constant updating of conference pics on our Flickr account, posting videos of each speech to our Youtube channel , live tweeting the conference (#LP14), as well as regular updates on Facebook . So if you’re not able to attend conference you can still keep up with everything that happens.
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.