Five years ago, Fianna Fáil was struggling. They were attracting less support than they had received even in the 2011 election, and they were riven with internal divisions that resulted in Eamon Ó Cuív being sacked from the Fianna Fáil frontbench.
That a party which so spectacularly mismanaged our economy and oversaw the arrival of the troika has once more gain significant public support is encouraging for those of us in the Labour Party who worked to undo that damage, and who believe the the values of social democracy endure.
Listen below to the The Irish Times podcast with Brendan Howlin. In the podcast, Brendan chats to Hugh Linehan and Fiach Kelly about #LabourRebuild, our upcoming party conference and the state of social democracy in these changing times. Have a listen below,
If re-elected to Govenment, we will tackle gender pay issues by ensuring large companies and public sector employers make public the details their own internal pay gaps in order to stimulate stronger action towards pay equality.
Yesterday we launched our #MakeItHappen campaign. The #MakeItHappen campaign is aimed at encouraging people who are voting YES to take practical steps to get more people to vote YES. The first activity of the campaign saw the Tánaiste Joan Burton and our Director of Elections Minister Alex White chat with three people over 70 explaining to them the need for older people to vote YES.
During the launch Minister Alex White spoke about the #MakeItHappen and the #MarRef campaigns. You can listen to what he said from the Audioboom below.
Deputy John Lyons teamed up with members of Labour Youth today to remind people to checktheregister.ie and make sure they can vote in the forthcoming Marriage Equality referendum.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Lyons said: “It’s extremely worrying that 120,000 young people are still not registered to vote. On May 22nd this generation will have a historic chance to break with the past and guarantee Marriage Equality for gay and lesbian couples. Polls are tightening so it’s more important than ever that everyone who wants to see a Yes vote makes sure they can have their say on the 22nd.”
Labour Youth National Chairperson Jack Eustace called this month's referendum a "defining moment in our country’s history".
Yesterday we officially launched our Marriage Equality referendum campaign in Dublin’s Smock Alley theatre.
Party members, members of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), Cllrs and members of the public all filled the beautiful hall to hear speeches from the Tánaiste Joan Burton, Director of Elections Minister Alex White, the chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party Deputy Jack Wall, the President of USI Laura Harmon and Norah Casey.
The Tánaiste said by voting yes ‘we are also telling these couples, their parents, their siblings, their friends and work colleagues as well as society as a whole that their relationships are equally worthy, equally legitimate, equally permanent, and equally valued’.
Last night Labour held a packed public meeting on Marriage Equality. The evening was chaired by Minister Kathleen Lynch and the speakers included the Tánaiste Joan Burton, Joe Noonan and TJ from Yes Equality, Cork, Laura Harmon, President of USI, Conor O’Mahony from UCC School of Law and Valerie Mulcahy, Cork Ladies Football.
Listen to the Tánaiste's contribution to the meeting
The Tánaiste Joan Burton has made a short video for Vote With Us asking viewers to vote with us on Marriage Equality. In the video the Tánaiste talks about a woman she met recently who wants what every Irish parent wants for their child, to be a full and equal citizen in their own country.
We'll share more videos from our Labour reps over the coming weeks as they explain why they're voting Yes in the forthcoming referendum.
(Vote with us is compiling videos from people from all over Ireland, and abroad, who want to share the reasons why they’ll vote YES for equal marriage on May 22nd.)
This morning the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore speaking at an event organised by GLEN and hosted by Google in Dublin, linked progress for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to the progress Ireland needs to rebuild its economy.
“Ireland today is a modern outward-looking society, our progress is not complete. There is still work to do... Economic progress has to be embedded in a free, open, progressive society. We have to construct new ways to build our vision of society where social solidarity and prosperity go hand in hand,” the Tánaiste said.
Over the weekend the Constitutional Convention met to discuss marriage equality and on Sunday a vote was taken which recommended the holding of a referendum on same sex marriage. Ahead of the Constitutional Convention Deputy John Lyons wrote a piece for the Sun on the convention and below you can read an extract from that article.
The love and commitment that lesbian and gay couples have for each other is the same as that of other couples. We’ve seen that through the more than 1,000 civil partnerships that have taken place all across Ireland since they became available in 2011. Lesbian and gay couples having a civil partnership make the same vows to love, cherish and support each other that couples who can marry do.