In the week since the local and European elections we’ve had the chance to reflect on our party’s mixed performance at the polls. In the local elections we did well (just under 11% of first preferences cast in the greater Dublin area). Despite the Green surge, and the fact that the Social Democrats were on the ballot paper for the first time, we more than held our own.
In the European Parliament election I was of course disappointed with the outcome. Ciaran Cuffe and his party caught the mood well and they must be congratulated for doing so. Gary Gannon and the Soc Dems brought a different dynamic to the campaign. Down the road it is hard to see how Labour and the Social Democrats can both thrive in an increasingly fractured political landscape. I think we will all have to face up to this fact, and do so in a generous manner.
For my own part I am as committed as ever to our values and principles and I want to work in every way I can to help advance them. I have absolutely no doubt at all that there is an essential place in our city and in our country for a constructive left alternative to the conservative politics that have dominated Ireland for so long.
For the moment I just want to sincerely thank all of my campaign team – Eunan McKinney especially – and each and every member of the party who encouraged and supported me in this campaign. I rejoice in the success of so many of our new councillors, and I urge those who were not successful on this occasion to keep the faith for the battles and opportunities I am certain lie ahead.
Míle, míle buíochas.