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Shortall rules out heave on Gilmore

ROISIN Shortall has rejected reports linking her to a heave against Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore.

The Dublin North West TD, who defected from the party in November, said she had "no part in" or "knowledge of" any move to oust the Labour leader.

Shortall's comments come as Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore vowed to face down Labour rebels and lead the party into the next general election.

Mr Gilmore is under pressure following the Budget, after he broke a number of Labour's pre-election promises.

Ms Shortall was quoted in a local newspaper last week as saying that a heave cannot be ruled out due to "dissatisfaction" within the Labour ranks.

"I am aware of a lot of dissatisfaction from within the party, but we haven't got to the point of a heave just yet.

"I'm not ruling anything out. Anything's possible at this stage," she told the Dublin People.

But speaking to the Herald, Ms Shortall attempted to play down the remarks and distance herself from a potential power struggle at the top of the Labour Party.

"I'm certainly not aware of a heave. I have no knowledge of any heave and I certainly don't have a part to play in one, that's for sure," she said.

Ms Shortall is one of five Labour TDs relegated to the Independent benches after losing the party whip.

The outspoken TD resigned as junior health minister in September following a row over the selection of primary care sites.

She now sits on the opposite side to the Government with fellow exiles Patrick Nulty, Tommy Broughan, Willie Penrose and Colm Keaveney.

noconnor@herald.ie