Thurles Hosts Tipperary Labour Party Convention

Minister & Labour Party Deputy Leader Joan Burton Hails Labour’s Strongest Ever Tipperary Team

The Tipperary Labour Party selected its ‘strongest ever team’ to represent Tipperary in contesting the local elections this coming May.

Social Protection Minister and Deputy Leader of the labour party, Joan Burton, was on hand to oversee proceedings in a packed hall in the Anner Hotel in Thurles on Friday evening last.

Local Minister Alan Kelly, MEP Phil Prendergast and Senator Denis Landy were also in attendance and for those who are of the belief that Irish youth are no longer interested in party politics, note just some of the attendee’s shown in our slide show hereunder.

While acknowledging it wouldn’t be easy, she urged candidates and canvassers to get out and ‘talk to people,’ as the Labour party are the party that have brought this country back from the brink.

For the Tipperary/Cashel electoral area, retired council worker, Mick Byrnes was selected. Mick, who narrowly missed out on a seat at the last local election, said he was confident he could go one better this time out. “I want to build on my experience as someone who spent many years working in the local authority, as a community activist and as someone who has always worked to try and improve my local community,” said Mick.

For the Clonmel area, Labour selected previous poll-topper and sitting councillor, Sean Lonergan. Sean, an enduring popular figure, said his ambition was to top the poll this time but acknowledged it would not be easy, “It will be tough but it is very enjoyable when you know you have helped someone or brought about a change to improve your community,” he said.

For the Fethard/Carrick-on-Suir area, Cllr Michael Cleere, co-opted to the council last year will be seeking to retain the seat while running alongside him will be local Labour activist Liam Hayes. Cllr Cleere said that he was enjoying the challenge of being a councillor and hoped to continue the efforts to work for the people of South Tipperary.

Liam Hayes, spoke about the proud past of the Labour party in Tipperary and said that if every candidate could get selected, Tipperary would have 10 councillors, a Minister, a Senator and an MEP.  “The Labour party in Tipperary has never been stronger and we need to build on this strength,” he further stated

For the Nenagh electoral area, Labour selected four candidates, Fiona Bonfield from Newport, Nenagh-based councillors, Cllr Virginia O’Dowd and Cllr Lalor McGee while operation transformation’s Greg Starr completes the billing. Fiona Bonfield, said that despite being new to politics, she was confident she could represent her area on any new Tipperary local authority.

For the Thurles/Templemore electoral area, Cllr John Kennedy and Roscrea-based Shane Lee will be flying the Labour banner. Cllr Kennedy paid tribute to outgoing Thurles town councillor, John Kenehen who retired, while the very popular Shane Lee told the crowd that he believed Roscrea had suffered from the lack of a local labour council. “If elected, I intend to give the people of Roscrea a stronger voice so that we can tackle many of the problems we currently experience in Roscrea,” said Shane Lee.


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