Kelly resignation a ‘brutal assassination’

Photo © Labour Website

The fallout from Alan Kelly’s shock resignation as leader of the Labour Party continues.

The Portroe native announced he was stepping down last night after just two years at the helm of the party which was founded in Clonmel in 1912.

A political assassination is how one journalist has described Alan Kelly’s departure as leader of the Labour Party.

The Tipperary TD announced his resignation on the plinth of Leinster House last evening surrounded by many of the people who had pushed him from the position.

Political Editor of the Irish Times Pat Leahy says despite the poor opinion polls for Labour the decision to step down was a surprise.

Speaking on Tipp Today earlier he said the Portroe man’s support was in the grassroots of Labour rather than the parliamentary party.

“I have no sense that that support for him has significantly diminished in the grassroots of the party. And I wonder what might have happened if he had dug in his heels and refused to go and thrown the matter back to the party grassroots but we’ll never know.

“Even by the standards of politics its pretty brutal, it’s a pretty brutal assassination.

The feeling among those grassroots members of the party in Tipp would echo Pat Leahy’s comments.

Mags is a member of the Labour Party in North Tipp.

She says there is very much an urban – rural divide in the party.

“The urban were not able to deal with the guy from rural Tipperary who went up with the big ideas to put Labour back where it should be, where it deserves to be.

“Alan has had it hard from the very beginning lets not forget that – he was handed a poisonous chalice with the water charges. He took it on – he has suffered for it since then.

“But lets not forget Alan Kelly has never failed to be elected because he is the life and soul of the Labour Party.”

Fiona Bonfield is the only Labour member of Tipperary County Council.

She told Tipp FM news that she, like many others, was shocked by Alan Kelly’s announcement.

However she is confident that he will be re-elected at the next General Election if he decides to stand.

“I’ve been in Nenagh all morning in the office and the reaction around here locally is people are in shock. They’re dismayed at what has happened and the way it has happened.

“To be honest with you I think he will always have support here locally no matter what. I think people around this area have admired him for what he has done over the last number of years.

“Politics is a dirty game – anybody that enters it will tell you.”