Eamon Gilmore refuses to be drawn on strategy for Waterford

Eamon Gilmore refuses to be drawn on strategy for Waterford

The Labour Party has not ruled out the possibility of running two candidates in Waterford come the next general election but sitting TD Brian O’Shea will be central in determining any future strategy.

Speaking in Waterford Thursday as his parliamentary party’s think-in drew to a close in Faithlegg, Eamon Gilmore said that he and his colleagues will be considering all options.

“I don’t want to make a specific statement in relation to this constituency but our general approach is to run more candidates,” he said.

Whether Brian O’Shea will again stand as the sole Labour candidate in Waterford come the next general election is set to generate considerable debate between now and the next campaign.

“I don’t want to start speculating about names,” said Deputy Gilmore, when asked about a potential double act for Labour in Waterford come the next election.

“We just haven’t looked at it and made decisions on it. Obviously if there’s an election quickly, it’s something that we’ll have to move very quickly on but we have the processes in place that we’ll be able to do that quite quickly if there is a snap election.”

He re-iterated: “We haven’t taken any decision yet in relation to Waterford but Brian (O’Shea) will be very much involved in any such discussion in any event as chairperson of the party – and as chairperson he works with me.

“The rules of our party state that the adding of additional parties and so on is a decision that is made jointly by the leader of the party and the chairperson of the party.

“That means Brian would be very much involved in any discussion that we have going forward.”

Having met with staff and service users at St Brigid’s Family and Community Centre on the Lower Yellow Road, Deputy Gilmore also re-asserted his support for Waterford Institute of Technology’s campaign for university status.

“Before the recession, Waterford and the south east was not doing as well in terms of jobs as other parts of the country,” he said.

“And that was one of the reasons why the Labour Party supports the idea of a university for the south east which we felt would be a way of stimulating economic activity in the south east.”