Friday, 17 October 2008

Labour’s Looney Launches “Campaign for Community and Change”

Dermot Looney, the 26 year old Labour Party candidate for next year’s local election in Tallaght Central, launched his campaign on Monday October 13th at a rally in the Greenhills Community Centre. Looney was joined in launching the campaign by Labour leader Eamon Gilmore TD, local TD Pat Rabbitte, Mayor Marie Corr and outgoing Councillor Eamonn Walsh.

Looney, who works as a primary school teacher in Tallaght, has been campaigning for election since March 2008 but was previously involved in a range of local, national and international movements, including anti-war and anti-racist activism, development issues and workers’ rights campaigns.

Speaking to a crowd of more than 70 local residents and supporters, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore noted Looney’s commitment to local communities in Greenhills and the wider Tallaght area as the hallmark of Labour representation. “In Dermot Looney, local people have a vibrant, energetic and committed young candidate; a rising star who represents all that is best about Labour values,” noted Gilmore.

Outgoing Cllr Eamonn Walsh, who was presented with crystal from his native Tipperary to mark his impending retirement from the Council, noted that Looney was the best hope for local people at a time when the Government hit working people hardest. Local TD Pat Rabbitte called Looney “a magnificent organiser” and said that, along with fellow candidates Mick Duff and Pamela Kearns, Labour offered the real alternative in the new Tallaght Central Ward.

Thanking his supporters and the gathered guests, Looney said that “the politics and ideas of Labour are a strong currency in this ward. With Labour, there is no question of political donation from the powerful developers and the other interests that fund the conservative parties in Ireland. When a local person meets a Labour rep, they don't need to scratch their heads and ask ‘what side are they on?’”

“Our campaign is different. I am standing up for communities across Tallaght Central. I am standing for a radical change in how the Council works, where working people, the elderly and the excluded get the breaks – not developers, speculators and friends of Fianna Fáil.”

“Labour are the real alternative for Tallaght Central. Fianna Fáil must not be allowed to get away with it again. Fine Gael offer nothing but a conservative critique. At least the PD’s, whose policies have caused much of the mess, have had the decency to admit defeat and walk off the stage,” said Looney.