Joan Burton defends Eamon Gilmore's 'shot at dawn' sacking from Cabinet

Tánaiste Joan Burton has defended her handling of the sacking of Eamon Gilmore from Cabinet - saying she had to make sure younger TDs got a chance.

Eamon Gilmore said that he was dropped from Cabinet in a two-minute meeting - which he described in his new book 'Inside the Room' as like being "shot at dawn".

He was also overlooked for a European Commissioner post following his resignation as leader.

But the current Labour leader has defended the move and said that she hopes Eamon Gilmore's book is widely read.

"I hope he has a best-seller," she said.

"A best-seller for himself in the context of his sterling contribution to politics and to the Labour Party over the decades, but also because it should be a best-seller for a very good cause, as he said himself, for the Alzheimer's Society."

Deputy Burton also said that her predecessor knows himself about the troubles of picking a Cabinet.

“He points out himself that that was one of the most difficult and loneliest days of his own life as leader,” she said.

“And I’ve said before, I was very anxious to actually provide an opportunity to some of the intake of 2011.”

Mr Gilmore says he bears no grudge towards the Tánaiste or Taoiseach Enda Kenny, however.

“I accept that they make the decision for whatever reason they did make,” he said.

“Yes, I was disappointed in particular at the fact I was dropped from the Cabinet.

“I didn’t have any particular great expectations that I’d be retained, may I say, but it did hurt at the time.

“But you move on from it, I don’t hold any grudge about it, I don’t hold any bitterness about it.”


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