Monday, April 19, 2010

Conference review

The Labour Party annual conference was held over the weekend in NUI Galway. Since I had planned on being away I didn't actually attend but thanks to the excellent online coverage I was able to keep up with the goings on in the west.

In terms of speeches, both Michael D Higgins and Eamon Gilmore gave masterclasses in oration. Michael D's speech on Friday (youtube clip) in particular is worth several viewings. Even if you don't agree with a word he is saying, the style, tempo and especially the Irish sections are a pleasure to the ear.

The arrival of Jerry Cowley to the party came as a slight surprise - he is certainly more welcome in my view than the alleged imminent arrival of Mae Sexton (ex PD). Mayo is a difficult place for Labour. Beverley Flynn and Dara Calleary will poll well for FF and Enda Kenny will be looking to return with three for FG, if not a 4th were they to gain an additional 7% or so from FF. In the last election the left vote (including Cowley) was about 12% and so there is a lot of work to be done before a seat comes into play, but at least there is now a strong candidate around which to focus the effort.

On more local matters, the Rathmines Branch motion was proposed by Cllr Mary Freehill and was adopted by the conference. Unfortunately there is no audio on the youtube clip so I can't actually hear what she said but based on the extremely brief notes I gave her she must have done alright. Dick Barrett also spoke on the composite education motion, reaffirming our socialist beliefs in communal education rather than segregated, religion based teaching.

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