Sunday 16 December 2018

Gilmore and Rabbitte left out on a limb at think-in

IF A picture is worth a thousand words, Labour's family portrait from their think-in spoke volumes, with former leaders Eamon Gilmore and Pat Rabbitte posing far from the new centre of gravity, Tanaiste Joan Burton.

The party took a drubbing in this year's local and European elections. Mr Gilmore stepped down as leader shortly afterwards.


Meanwhile, Mr Rabbitte lost his job as Communications Minister in frosty circumstances in the Cabinet reshuffle following Ms Burton's election as leader.

The pair could not have stood further from her for the portrait, though Mr Gilmore did greet her warmly as she arrived at the think-in, which continues in Wexford today.

The annual event is placing great emphasis on tackling the housing crisis in the greater Dublin area.

Ms Burton said she did not favour suggestions that prefabs could be erected on waste ground in Dublin as an emergency response to the housing problem.

She said she favoured refurbishing council houses and flats which had been deserted and boarded up.

The think-in also heard from NAMA chairman, Frank Daly, who said it had provided 600 homes in the Dublin area, and by the end of next year this would have grown to 2,500.

"We are told that between 7,000 and 9,000 extra homes are needed each year in Dublin. By that reckoning NAMA's contribution will be considerable, but we can't do everything," Mr Daly said.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin will today give a presentation on the up-coming Budget.


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