Eamon Gilmore’s announcement that he was throwing in the towel as Labour Leader was the final act in a slow slide out of his job.
Banana skins along his route as he became Tanaiste after the general election of 2011, with a record 37 Labour TDs, included:
l The Gilmore for Taoiseach’ catchphrase during the campaign returned to haunt him as his winning aura began to dim.
l His appointment of the old guard’ party figures to the cabinet rankled with younger members of the party.
l The resignation of Junior Health Minister Roisin Shortall seriously damaged his standing with Labour’s grassroots as he refused to support her in her criticism of Health Minister James Reilly.
l He was forced to swallow his campaign declaration of Frankfurt’s way or Labour’s way’ as he and his colleagues capitulated to pressure not to burn the bank debt bond holders.
l Party chairman Colm Keaveney jumped ship in June 2013 and later joined Fianna Fail last December.
l The Government’s hairshirt’ Budgets increased the ire of the anti-austerity campaigners.
l His decision to close the Irish embassy at the Vatican was viewed negatively by a significant number of churchgoers here.
l He endured sharp criticism within Labour for being “out of touch” with events in Ireland amid calls for him to relinquish his globe-trotting Foreign Affairs role.
l The government’s introduction of a property tax was seen as a betrayal of his party’s election promises.
l Similarly, the imposition of water charges by the coalition government undermined his party’s natural support base.
l He was continually criticised for not being assertive enough in protecting Labour policies in government.
l Mr Gilmore’s strong backing of unpopular Justice Minister Alan Shatter continued even after the controversial Fine Gael politician had decided to resign..
l Labour’s dismal election performance this weekend, was the final nail in the Mr Gilmore’s coffin.