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North Clare’s branch of the Labour Party have urged newly elected leader, Alan Kelly to guarantee they do not enter into Government as a junior coalition partner alongside Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

In what was the first virtual meeting of a Labour party branch in Clare, short of a dozen members participated on the Zoom call on Thursday last where there was general agreement that they should stay out of Government talks with a motion passed outlining the same principle.

A motion congratulating Tipperary TD, Alan Kelly on his election as Labour leader was passed with an invitation also extended to Kelly to visit North Clare when it is safe to do so. The branch also called on the Government to accept medical assistance from the Cuban Government to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Policies are currently being formulated by Kelly which will go to the party conference for approval.

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Senior figures within the North Clare branch believe there is an opportunity for the Irish political spectrum to evolve into a European model of left and right. “The Labour Party has an opportunity to lead that democratic left movement and to build a solid and permanent support base while maintaining and growing it political identity,” one member told The Clare Echo.

February’s General Election represented the first time since 1989 that the Labour Party did not field a General Election candidate in Clare. Former Labour TD, Michael McNamara was elected as an Independent candidate with many members of the party in Clare canvassing for the Scariff native.

Current Chairperson of Labour’s Clare branch, Seamus Ryan was the party’s sole candidate across the county in the 2019 local elections. He polled 495 first preferences with Dermot Hayes who defected from the party in the lead up to the election securing 793 first preference votes in the Ennis Municipal District.

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