Shock in Cork as Alan Kelly resigns as Labour leader

Labour councillor for the city’s north-east ward John Maher said the news was a shock, but Mr Kelly’s decision needs to be respected
Shock in Cork as Alan Kelly resigns as Labour leader

TD Ivana Bacik (centre-left) consoles former Labour Party leader Alan Kelly (centre) following his resignation speech outside Leinster House, Dublin, on Wednesday evening. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

CORK LABOUR councillor John Maher said it has come as a ‘big shock’ that Alan Kelly has announced his resignation as Labour Party leader, after being informed by parliamentary colleagues that they had lost confidence in him.

Delivering a public statement at Leinster House on Wednesday evening, Mr Kelly acknowledged that the party had not made progress in the opinion polls under his leadership.

“I am resigning as leader of the Labour Party," he said. 

“I was advised by my parliamentary colleagues on Tuesday morning that they had lost collective confidence in my leadership.

“This was a surprise to me but I accept the decision." 

Mr Kelly said he would remain as leader until his successor is elected. 

Labour Party councillor John Maher described the news as a shock. 
Labour Party councillor John Maher described the news as a shock. 

Mr Maher said the news was a shock, but Mr Kelly’s decision needs to be respected. 

“It is a very emotional time for Alan, and it will be a big adjustment for him," he told The Echo. 

“Alan can be accused of a lot, but he is always conscious of what is going on around him and as a result he has made this decision. 

"I know this decision will not stop any elected Labour representatives doing their work in each community. As far as I am concerned it will be business as usual.”

Aodhán Ó Riordáin and Ivana Bacik have already been named as possible candidates to become the next leader of the Labour Party. Mr Maher said it is important party members all take a ‘breath’ and be respectful. 

“There will be a bit of grieving and a bit of preparing to take place now. People now need to have a think of what is ahead. Alan will stay on in the interim. I think whoever puts their name forward will all come in time. 

"Tonight, however is a night we all need to take a breath and we need to be respectful.” 

Despite low polling, Cllr Maher also said his party still resonates with people and they are still ‘relevant’. 

“The work that my colleagues and I do in Cork and throughout the country is very important. We are representing people and we are dealing with issues." 

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