Statement by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin
“I wholeheartedly congratulate my friend and colleague Alan Kelly, who now takes on the responsibility of leading our Party. The values of economic justice, universal rights, equality, solidarity, compassion, inclusiveness and internationalism are safe in Alan’s hands. I want to especially congratulate his family who I know will rightly share in this proud day.
“I know that everyone in our party – and many, many people beyond – will share my desire to thank our outgoing leader Brendan Howlin, and to acknowledge his extraordinary contribution to the cause of Labour and the cause of Ireland in so many ways, and over so many years.
“I thank our returning officer Conor Power, the team at Mazars, and the Labour Party staff who have conducted today’s count, and indeed the election itself, in the most difficult of circumstances.
“I want to thank every Labour Party member for engaging so passionately and respectfully in this debate and election. The high turnout in the election again shows how passionately our members believe in the values of the Labour Party – a party that gives every member an equal say in these leadership elections.
“And I want to thank my campaign team, and the many Labour members who voted for my platform of workers’ rights, excellent public services for all, tax justice, and a party that reaches out to young people and the voters whose trust we lost in recent times.
“I especially want to thank my own family who have instilled in me these values which I know we all hold dear.
“I know that, like me, every Labour member is loyal to the Party, and will now unite around our new leader – and an Oireachtas team greatly strengthened in the Seanad elections over the last few days. Together we will rebuild a party that we can all be proud to be part of, and which can lead people back to campaign with us, to join us, and to vote for us.
“These are extraordinary and difficult times for our country and for people across the globe who are suffering from the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus.
“Like never before, this is a time for unity and solidarity in our Party, in our country, and across international borders.
“We, the people of Ireland and of the world, will get through this. Then as now, Labour, with its sister parties, progressives and trade unionists across the globe, will be leading the charge for a just, fair, equal and sustainable planet.”