Party Structures: How the Party Works

Alan Kelly speaking at the James Connolly commeration

 

Party Leader

The Leader of the Labour Party is directly elected by the members of the Labour Party.  Elections occur six months after a general election, if the Party decides not to go into government.  Candidates for the position of Party Leader must be TDs.  The Party Leader has a high-profile role in advocating Labour’s values and policies in the Dáil and in the media and also has a hands-on role in the development of the Party.

The current leader of the Labour Party is Alan Kelly TD.  Alan represents the constituency of Tipperary and was elected Party Leader in April 2020.  Alan lives in Portroe with his wife Regina and two young children.

Executive Board

The Executive Board is in charge of the managerial functions of the Party, such as Party finances, ratification of election candidates and approval of standing orders.  Eight members of the Executive Board are elected at conference, four of these members must identify as men and four of them must identify as women.

The Party Chairperson is elected by the membership at conference and chairs the Executive Board.  Jack O’Connor is the current Party Chair.

The Party Treasurer is also elected by the members at conference.  Gina Doolan is our current Party Treasurer.

The General Secretary also sits on the Executive Board but is a non-voting member.  Billie Sparks is our current General Secretary.

The Party Leader, two representatives from the Parliamentary Labour Party, the Chairs of all Party Sections and a representative from the Association of Labour Councillors also sits on the Executive Board.

Central Council

The Central Council is the key representative body of the Party which ensures that the views of members feed into the development of all aspects of the Party’s agenda and structure.

The Central Council is comprised of:-

  •       One representative from each constituency
  •       One representative elected by Party Staff
  •       One delegate from each Party Section – Labour Women, Labour Youth, Labour Equality, Labour Trade Unionists, Labour Disability
  •       All members of the Executive Board

The Central Council meets at least four times a year and has important functions such as the approval of the Party manifesto.  The Party Leader submits a report to each Central Council meeting and takes questions from its members at every meeting.

Branches and Constituencies

When you join the Labour Party you will be assigned to a branch and a constituency based on where you live.

Labour Party branches are a vital unit our Party.  They are the units of the Party which connect members locally to come together for meetings, for campaigns and to select candidates for local elections.

Branches form party of constituencies and constituency council brings members together to get involved in national or local campaigns, for political debate and discussion and to select candidates for national elections.

Generally, constituencies meet once a month.  This meeting offers members a chance to come together, to meet like minded people, to debate the political issues of the day and also provide an opportunity for members to get to know each other better and make new friendships.

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