Second Labour councillor resigns from party – Ireland

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The Labour Party has lost a second member in a week as a Dublin councillor has stepped down from the party.

Mick Duff, who sits for the party on South Dublin County Council, announced his resignation, following in the footsteps of his council colleague Martina Genockey.

Mr Duff – who was one of those seeking a discussion on the party’s leadership ahead of the party’s think-in last month – referred to the 2016 appointment of Brendan Howlin to lead the party after the 2016 General Election.

“The issue of the parliamentary Labour Party appointing Brendan Howlin as leader in the aftermath of the 2016 General Election had a detrimental effect on the morale of the Labour organisation,” he said in a statement.

“We needed a nationwide conversation with the membership after the 2016 General Election, to let people state their views, whether palatable or not, learn from past mistakes and get back to basic core values,” he said.

Mr Duff claimed the party has not learned any lessons from its time in government – which left the party severely diminished after the last election – and said the party seems “hell-bent on returning to coalition as soon as we hear the noble call”.

The councillor was among those who aired their grievances at a closed-door meeting of the party’s entire membership at their think-in in Drogheda.

A number of members hit out at the party’s performance during that meeting but ultimately the idea of a leadership change was put to bed by Mr Howlin who said changing the name on the office of the leader in Leinster House was not the solution.

Ms Genockey said the recent debate “opened her mind” about the party and led to her reaching the conclusion that it was no longer the place for her.

A spokesman for the party said it regrets Mr Duff’s decision and wished him well.

“After the think-in there was a great sense of unity in the party, so we are sad to see any member leave,” he said.

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