Cllr. Thomas Redmond, a young Athy Town Councillor, has resigned from the Labour Party.
In a statement issued last night, Monday, September 9, he said he believed the party had lost its way and “the seed it sowed in mas a young politician has died because of a lack of credibility”.
He cautioned that the move had nothing to do with what he called “personal attacks on my character linked to a small cohort of people who call themselves Labour Party activists”.
Cllr. Redmond made the statement on Facebook at 8 pm.”
“I have a lot of respect for the grass root members who I have worked for, listened to and I believe they will understand why I cannot honestly stay in a party that is doing so much harm.
“As a young councillor I feel that the party has not served the people of Ireland with dignity or with care.
“The party has systematically tried to squeeze the income of disabled, working class and the disadvantaged. Those of us looking for a medical card will a lot of times end the search with a negative result.
“It’s now like saying your wealth is your health. If you can afford to go private you will be seen up to a year quicker and more for scans and help. That is very wrong and has not been tackled by the present goverment.
“Those among us with mental health problems are again silenced by a lack of resources, and a Goverment that does not recognise the huge mental health problems surrounding families and in our communities.
“I see daily as a shop steward in a Dublin hospital how our health system is at crisis point and while we train student nurses we have no jobs to give them because of a lack of focus and accountability.
“The help for those among us that are struggling with mortgage arrears is not only hard to access but in some instances degrading, and those banks we helped now seem the very ones intent on destroying not only local families but communities.
“The Labour party called for reform prior to going into goverment and this did not happen. For business owners credit is a problem the banks have not adequately helped, even though the Goverment has stated it’s satisfied with the performance. On a daily basis the challenges to families such as mine who are working and trying to do our best are met with increasing taxes and an arrogance from a party who it seems will not reform from the top down.
“The people of this country voted for the Labour Party because of transparency and to keep Fine Gael in check, not to have a party leader ensure he got the position of foreign affairs minister and doing what may be seen as a lack lustre attempt at trying to bring jobs to this country.”
Cllr. Redmond ended his statement with a call to his former Labour Party colleagues to “awake” and see how his family and friends have “totally turned Turk” on them.
He says he wrote to Eamon Gilmore, demanding change.
“I asked many questions and now I believe I would be untrue to myself and my supporters to carry on delivering the Labour message.”
- Conor McHugh