Kelly to stand for Labour Leadership

18 February 2020
  • Tipp TD nominated by Deputies Duncan Smith & Seán Sherlock
  • Jan O’Sullivan appointed Director of Elections & endorsed by former TD Willie Penrose
  • Getting a just return for workers & redressing economic imbalances the core tenets of Labour with Alan Kelly as leader

Alan Kelly, Tipperary TD & party spokesperson on Health, has formally lodged the nomination papers for the election of Leader of the Labour Party.

Kelly, who was nominated by fellow TDs, Deputy Duncan Smith & Deputy Seán Sherlock, was accompanied by elected representatives and party supporters as he lodged his official papers to Labour Party Head Office.

Speaking afterwards, Deputy Kelly – winner of successive European, Seanad and three Dáil elections – said that he will fight fearlessly and relentlessly to restore Labour to leadership of the left. He said:

“The reality of where we are at today as a country is that, as we reach full employment and our economy grows, more and more people are being left behind.  For the Labour Party, the party of the worker, that is unacceptable and that is what we will prioritise if I am elected leader. There must be more to society than running to stand still.”

“The party was founded to advance the interest of workers. Now it is time to go back to basics.”

“We must rebuild our party, take it back to the grass roots, cover every corner of the country in doing so and regenerate the trust we had with the people of Ireland that, no matter what, Labour puts the people first.  There is a hard road ahead and it will take time, but the rebuilding of the party must revolve around putting workers and their families at the centre of political discourse.”

Deputy Duncan Smith said,

“I am delighted to nominate Alan and I look forward to a positive and inclusive debate about the party’s future. We have strong TDs, soon to be joined by strong Senators. Working together under a strong and fully inclusive leadership, we will win back the support of former Labour voters and re-establish ourselves as the party of working people. I believe Alan has the capability to achieve this.”

Deputy Sean Sherlock said:

“I am honoured to second Alan’s nomination. The contest should be a positive and inclusive one and the members will have their say over the future direction of the party. The Labour Party needs to unite and campaign around its core purpose and Alan has demonstrated both the ability and energy to achieve that.”

Deputy Kelly concluded:

“We might be at a low ebb in terms of parliamentary success but never before has what Labour stood for been more needed. The realignment in national politics whereby the traditional larger parties are moving inexorably closer has created a void that honest, hard-working and considered social reformists must fill. Labour is the only party that can do that and our hard work begins now.”    

“Finally, I want to thank our outgoing leader Deputy Brendan Howlin for his selfless commitment to the Labour Party across four decades. I wish my competitors well in their bid also. Above all, I want to stress to our members that we have had dark days but there is a future ahead, a bright future for the Labour Party. Together we will rebuild Labour, restore it to a place where it gives responsible leadership of the left, implements social reforms and protects and promotes all those in society who deserve better than their lot today.”


Alan Kelly – Biography

Alan Kelly is from Portroe, Co. Tipperary is married to Regina and has two children, Aoibhe & Senan.

He has been a Labour member since he was sixteen and a party activist all his life.

Following his election to the Seanad in 2007, he launched himself into the national political scene by fighting against all the odds to claim the final seat in a mammoth campaign in the European election for the Ireland South constituency, the first Labour MEP for the South in over thirty years.

He subsequently stood successfully in Tipperary North constituency in the general election of 2011 and was re-elected twice for Tipperary in 2016 and 2020.

In the last Dail, he was the party’s spokesperson on health and member of the public accounts committee. Among his many achievements in opposition was the role he played in championing the cause of the 221 group of women whose cervical smears were misdiagnosed and, also, his probing of Garda management’s undermining of whistle-blowers.

He previously served as Minister for Housing, Community & Local Government and as Minister for state in the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport with responsibility for public transport.

In 2014, he was elected Deputy leader of the Labour Party with over 50% of the vote.

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