Statement by Eamon Gilmore TD:
The Labour Party has tabled a motion moving the writ for the Dublin South By-election. It is expected that the motion will be taken in the Dail early next week.
The Party Leader, Eamon Gilmore TD, said that Labour had made the decision to move the writ because of the failure of the government to take any decision as to when the by-election would be held.
“It is now almost seven months since the death of the much-respected Seamus Brennan. I have, on several occasions, raised the matter of the by-election with the Taoiseach, but the standard response I have received on each occasion has been that the matter had not yet been considered by the government.
“On the last occasions when vacancies occurred in the Dail, the by-elections were held within a matter of months. John Bruton and Charlie McCreevy both resigned as Deputies in November 2005, and the writs for the by-elections in Meath and Kildare North were moved in the Dail by the Government Chief Whip on February 15th.
“The people of Dublin South are entitled to the full level of representation in the Dail provided for under the constitution. It is simply not acceptable that the government should deny them that level of representation by refusing to hold the by-election.
“Furthermore if the government believes that it has the confidence of the people in terms of its performance in office so far and particularly in regard to its handling of the economy, then surely it should put this to the test by having the Dublin South by election as early as possible.
“The fact that the country is experiencing serious economic difficulties is no reason to suspend normal democratic procedures. Nor is the possibility of an embarrassing result for Fianna Fail and the Greens sufficient justification for the continued refusal to hold a by election.
“I hope that there will be support from all parties for the moving of the writ and the setting of an early date for the by-election.”