LABOUR leader Ivana Bacik has said the party intends to build on its existing presence in Cork ahead of the next General Election.
Ms Bacik said Cork has “traditionally been a real stronghold for Labour” and that she hoped this would continue to be the case in the next election.
The Dublin Bay South TD, who grew up in Cork, made the comments when speaking to reporters during a visit to Cork yesterday.
“We’re very keen to have more TDs representing Cork across the constituencies in Cork.
“Cork has traditionally been a real stronghold for Labour.
“I grew up here myself – I went to primary school in Cloughduv National School.
“We saw in the Dublin Bay South by-election, which I won last summer, a real appetite for positive change and I think that message of positive change and support for Labour’s values of equality, solidarity and fairness, I think that support will continue to grow around the country but particularly in Cork and we’re very hopeful of that,” she said.
“We do have a really strong team of local representatives and we’re going to grow that and indeed build on that in the locals in two years’ time and then in the general election which is likely to be the year after that.”
Ms Bacik had a series of engagements during her visit to Cork yesterday, including a meeting with SIPTU members, a visit to the Bride project in Castlelyons, a visit to City Hall and a trip to the Rainbow Club.
She also visited Mallow, which was yesterday brought into the Leap fare zone - something which she said Cork East TD Seán Sherlock had persistently campaigned for.
Ms Bacik said whilst Labour welcomes the reduction in public transport costs, the party feels “a more radical policy” needs to be implemented to see a significant modal shift.
“In our alternative budget last year we in Labour proposed free public transport for young people, first children and young adults, rather than the 50% reduction that the Government have brought in today for 19-23-year-olds.
“We do welcome that for sure, but we do think a more radical policy on public transport would do even more to address the climate issue but also the cost of living crisis that’s squeezing so many people,” she said.
On the cost of living issue, Ms Bacik said the party will today launch its living wage bill.
“We are going to be launching our living wage bill which would transform the low pay commission into a living wage commission and map a pathway to achieve the living wage of €12.90 per hour to ensure that people would no longer just be paid a minimum wage that’s not sufficient to meet the cost of living but would actually see that grow to a decent hourly rate,” she said.