Labour conference to begin tonight13/04/2012 - 07:34:48
Hundreds of grass-roots Labour members are set to gather in Galway today for the party’s 66th annual conference, its first major gathering since entering the coalition with Fine Gael 13 months ago.
The three-day conference is the first in 15 years to be held with the party in Government.
More than 150 motions will be debated under the categories of jobs, reform and fairness at the gathering in the Bailey Allen Hall in Áras Na MacLéinn, NUI Galway.
Among the speakers over the weekend will be party leader Eamon Gilmore, ICTU head David Begg, as well as ministers, TDs, MEPs, senators, councillors and party members.
Mr Gilmore’s keynote speech tomorrow evening will be broadcast live on RTÉ1.
Speaking this morning Mr Gilmore said his leadership is not the important issue facing the country - and denied that any of his TDs feel any differently.
"The entire focus of the party - my focus, all of our ministers, the focus of the party in Government - is that we have a job of work to do.
"It's what we are doing.
"It's very difficult, it's a big challenge, but we are up for the challenge."
Security is expected to be tight at the university with a number of protests, particularly around the household charge and education cuts, planned to take place.
The United Left Alliance (ULA) will be holding its very own "counter-conference" in Galway this weekend, to highlight what it describes as "the betrayal" of the Labour Party to the people who voted for them.
ULA TD Richard Boyd Barrett is calling on backbench Labour TDs to use their party conference as an opportunity to show their opposition to austerity measures hitting low- and middle-income families.
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