Labour Leader praises Brendan Howlin on decades of service to Ireland, Wexford and Labour

Ivana Bacik TD
06 October 2023

Ivana Bacik, Leader of the Labour Party said:

“I wish to pay tribute to my colleague and friend, Brendan Howlin who has announced today that he will not be running in the next General Election after representing the constituency of Wexford in the Oireachtas with immense energy and tenacity over the last four decades. His advice and support has been invaluable to so many of us, and he has ably served our Party at every level most recently as our Party Leader from 2016 to 2020.

“Brendan’s record of public service is enormously impressive. As a Minister in the Department of Health, Department of the Environment and, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform he has a proven record of delivery, legislative change and reform.

“Throughout his time in the Dáil and Seanad, and in taking on such important leadership roles within the Party, the Oireachtas and within government, Brendan has always brought his unique blend of sharp intelligence, strongly principled sense of ethics, and genuine personal integrity. During his time as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, he played a truly crucial role in steering the State back from bankruptcy after the financial crash.

“Brendan has been at the heart of the Labour Party through many of the party’s defining eras and has contributed massively to improving Irish society. A life-long trade unionist who campaigned on progressive issues including marriage equality and abortion rights, long before they were popular, his commitment, strategic insight, wit and laser-like focus will be greatly missed from national politics.

“Throughout his parliamentary career he has been a campaigner for justice, equality, transparency, and accountability.

“They say that a week is a long time in politics, but after forty years, Brendan has done the State and his beloved Wexford some service.

“Brendan’s record as a legislator is unparalleled – with the recently adopted Coco’s Law to tackle online abuse, just one of his many achievements. His other legislative successes include the statutory code which brought about real transparency in public institutions, protection for whistleblowers and restoration of the Freedom of Information Act. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Brendan over the remainder of this Dail term and beyond, and I know that he will continue to make a significant contribution to the work of our Party even after the next general election.”


Notes to Editors:

Brendan Howlin first contested a general election for the Labour Party in Wexford in November 1982 following which he was nominated by the Taoiseach to the Seanad in February 1983.

He was first elected to the Dáil for Wexford in 1987, being elected in every general election since, serving as a TD over 9 Dáileanna.

Within the Labour Party he has served as Party Whip, Deputy Leader (1997 to 2002) and Party Leader (2016 to 2020).

In government Brendan served as Minister for Health from 1993 to 1994, Minister for the Environment from 1994 to 1997, and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform from 2011 to 2016.

Brendan served as Leas-Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann from 2007 to 2011.

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