Labour conference live

Labour conference live

IT Fri, Apr 13

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  • 09:20
    Deaglán de Bréadún: Good Morning. I shall be blogging live from the Labour Party conference in Galway today
  • 09:46
    The Labour conference is being live streamed. You can follow it here:
  • 09:47
    Tánaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore addresses the party's conference at the National University of Ireland in Galway last night. Photograph: PA
    Tánaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore addresses the party's conference at the National University of Ireland in Galway last night. Photograph: PA
  • 10:13
    Irish Times political editor Stephen Collins analyses whether Labour can continue to support the Croke Park deal while protecting those on social welfare. Read it here:

  • 11:32
    Please be kind - this is my very first Live Blog. I am a Live Blog Virgin:-)

    Why does Labour insist on having its conferences in Galway? Okay it is a wonderful city and the cultural jewel in the crown of this country in many ways. On a personal note, I have strong family connections with the county. My mother was from Corofin, near Tuam and all my siblings were born here. Galway is in many respects a home to the present writer.
    But the rest of the country must be feeling a little sore. This is the second Galway-based conference since 2010. If I were a Labour activist in another part of the State, I would be feeling a little sore and let down. If I were a Labour voter I would be asking my representative what he or she was doing to get a bit of visitors' dosh flowing in my town's direction.
    Galway is feeling the brunt of the recession as the rest of us are but there are other places that could do with a bit of a lift and the kind of cash injection that an incursion of up to 1,000 delegates would mean.
    Okay, Labour types would not have the same reputation for living it up and painting the town red, flashing the credit card and the Laser, that other parties might have. Time was that, when Fianna Fail had its ardfheis, the money flowed freely over the bar-counters and the hotel reception desks. Nowadays, of course, FF are like the Sean O'Casey character who sees his final shilling rolling across the floor and makes the immortal observation: "The last of the Mohicans."

  • 12:07
    The leftwing protesters outside the conference say Labour is a safe, middle-of-the-road party but on the basis of what follows, maybe they should think again. Did you know that dangerously radical ideas are being purveyed at a bookstall in the conference centre?

    The person responsible is Seamas Ratigan who used to be in Jim Kemmy's Democratic Socialist Party but has now found a home, like other DSPer's, in the Labour ranks.

    Pride of place on his stall goes to James Connolly who was of course the founder of the party exactly 100 years ago and went on to take part in the 1916 Rising. "Labour in Irish History" is his classic and Ratigan also has "Labour Nationality and Religion" which he says is very apt in light of the current church-state debate.

    Karl Marx is there too - an introduction in English to his classic work, "Das Kapital" and his partner Friedrich Engels's "Wages Price and Profit" which Ratigan describes as "a very enlightening book on the structure of capitalism".

    He adds that, "Theoretical knowledge is essential for Socialists." But he says the omission of Trotsky is not intentional.

    There is a "nice biography" of Mick O'Riordan, Corkonian head of the Communist Party for decades and a veteran of the Spanish Civil War. "Micko" never lost his Cork accent or his socialist principles and is much-missed on the Left by his old comrades.

    Micko's old friend Eugene McCartan from New Books on Dublin's Essex Street supplied the bulk of the stall's contents.

    There are two other bookstalls adjacent to this one, featuring a fascinating collection of Labour-related volumes inlcuding a book on Dublin in the first World War by my former colleague Padraig Yeates. And not forgetting of course Roger Cole's pamphlet on Shannon Airport and its continued use by US forces on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan. Cole is also exercised about Irish policy in the current crisis over Iran.

    Further info about his books are available by phoning Seamas Ratigan at 086 8369793
  • 12:24
    The name is Bond, but not James Bond, it's Chris Bond. We're talking about Tallaght South Cllr Chris Bond who is 26 years of age and attending his first Labour conference since becoming a member of a local authority.

    "This is our first conference since we got back into government. I'm looking forward to hearing Labour's solutions on the unemployment crisis and getting the economy back to growth and on reform of our political system to make it fit for purpose and to help Irish politics move on from the scandals at local level that came to light, primarily perpetrated by Fianna Fail.

    "Labour has done a good job of stabilising our economy and restoring Ireland's reputation internationally as reflected in the new jobs in the technology sector.

    "But there is still a lot of work to do to get this country back on a strong economic footing. As a Labour public representative I hope the party will introduce substantive measures to get people back to work."
  • 12:35
    maria why is IRISH TIMES advertising murdiegh's australian on irish news pageen?
  • 12:35
    maria canberra why murdoch advert in Irish news edition with Irish times this g'day!.
  • 12:36
    Westdogg Jesus. If that is what you're going to be blogging about, I'd leave it out. Whining about the city/county Labour chooses to have its' conference in? Nice addition to the political discourse.
  • 12:36
    Dave Carroll They should have had the 100 year anniversary conference in Clonmel where the party was formed.
  • 12:38
    As I write, the monitor in the press room is showing the conference proceedings. The are televised since 11 am, finishing at 1pm. Haven't noticed many - or indeed any - speakers who are not already Oireachtas members, though I was distracted briefly by other considerations to do with covering this event.
  • 13:04
    Labour are really milking the fact that they came through the various tribunals without blemish - and why not indeed?
  • 13:13
    Ta Gaeilge mhaith ag Eamon Gilmore - ach is cosuil nach bhfuil run ar bith sa chead teanga oifigiuil ar chlar na comhdhala
  • 13:24
    Sea-tornado off Bray Head apparently - but calm waters here in Galway
  • 15:04
    The original Starry Plough flag made its first appearance with the Irish Citizen Army on 5th April 1914 in Dublin and William H Megahy, who taught in the School of Art at Kildare St, is credited as the designer, although there is some dispute about this.

    It was described as a unique and beautiful design, a stylised representation of an agricultural plough with, superimposed upon it, a representation of the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear or the Plough of the Heavens – all on a green field bordered by a gilt fringe.

    During the 1916 Rising from his position in the GPO, James Connolly sent the Starry Plough across O’Connell St to be flown over the Imperial Hotel (now part of Clery’s Store). The hotel had played a key role in the 1913 Lockout and Jim Larkin had addressed the striking workers from its balcony before being arrested.

    The flag disappeared in the aftermath of the Rising, feared destroyed in the fires that engulfed O’Connell St. However, it was acquired by the National Museum of Ireland in 1955 from Mr T A Williams, who as a Lieutenant of 9th Reserve Cavalry Regiment of the British Army had taken the flag as a war trophy.

    The flag displayed at the Labour Conference in Galway is said to be an accurate replica of Connolly’s flag from 1916. It has been kindly loaned by the National Museum.

    The actual flag flown in 1916 has suffered significant damage and deterioration, in the Rising itself and subsequently. The Labour Party says it is committed to cooperating with the National Museum "to ensure the full conservation of this iconic and unique symbol of the Labour Movement in Ireland".

  • 15:05
    Steven this is the Tornado in Bray :
  • 16:00
    Chairman orders doors closed and tells delegates to remain in hall after protesters breach garda lines outside
  • 16:40
    Brian ó hUallacháin Less calm now with the huffing and puffing the 'protesters' outside are doing - wondering when the Gardai will tell them to vent their angry baseless argument elsewhere and let the students of NUIG study in peace!
  • 16:40
    Brian Protesters still huffing and puffing (noise traveling around the campus)... need the use of a microphone since there doesn't seem to be many of them.
  • 16:45
    Just got back to my laptop. A group of us journalists went out to view the protest at a barrier some fifty metres away from the conference-hall entrance. About a hundred protesters broke through the small group of Gardai and security force personnel. Some protesters claimed that pepper-spray was used against them.

    This happened at 3.20 pm. Just over ten minutes later, a larger group broke through, numbering about 500. The Gardai retreated to the front door of the hall.

    Slogans were shouted about the household charge and a copy of the conference agenda was burned to chants of "Revolution, revolution".

    By about 4.30pm the protests had settled down, Back inside, the bar was crowded as delegates watched the Grand National on television.
  • 17:47
    Labour activist Angela Timlin has a stall at the conference promoting the cause of women in the party. Her literature makes the point that despite being half of the population, this is nowhere near being reflected in the composition of the Dail.

    "All women who join the Labour Party can join Labour Women," she says, adding that wore women in politics would mean greater common sense, creativity and integrity.