Growing calls for Howlin to resign

Labour leader Brendan Howlin. Photo: Frank McGrath
Labour leader Brendan Howlin. Photo: Frank McGrath

A fifth Labour Party councillor has called for Brendan Howlin to facilitate a leadership contest.

Cllr Martina Genockey, a member of the party’s Executive Board, has joined colleagues in publicly urging Mr Howlin to step aside.

She said the party has “continued to lose support both in elections and in the polls” since the Wexford TD took over as leader after the last general election.

“To that end, I think that a leadership contest would give those involved a chance to lay out their vision for the Labour Party and give a renewed sense of urgency to the rebuild of the party,” Cllr Genocky said.

Already her colleagues on South Dublin County Council, Pamela Kearns and Mick Duffy, as well as Noel Tuohy from Co Laois and Terry O’Brien from Co Kerry, have called on Mr Howlin to resign. Their statements prompted a statement from 16 other councillors who have argued it is not the right time for a change at the top.

Labour has struggled to show any signs of revival since its near wipe-out in the 2016 general election when it went from having 37 TDs to only seven.

Mr Howlin took over from Joan Burton as party leader without a contest, even though Tipperary TD Alan Kelly had expressed an interest in challenging him.

In her statement, Cllr Genocky said she sought a position on the party’s Executive Board because she wanted an influence over the way party interacts with members and in its decision making. “I disagree that now is not the right time for a leadership election. I do not feel that such a contest would hinder the work of the party,” she said.

Irish Independent

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