Dermot Looney, the Labour Party candidate in the new Tallaght Central ward has called on local trade union members to "return home" and vote Labour in June's local elections. Speaking in the wake of the ICTU National Demonstration in Dublin City Centre on February 21st, which brought 120,000 union members onto the streets, Looney pledged his support for local workers and the unemployed in the months ahead, claiming that Fianna Fáil had abandoned working people with a reckless economic policy and support for big bankers and developers.
Looney, who was part of a strong Dublin South-West Labour contingent on the march, is a primary school teacher and member of the INTO.
"Workers have been under months of vicious attack from this clueless government," said Looney. "Levies which hit even those on the minimum wage will not win our way out of the recession. Nor will the cynical attempts by Fianna Fáil and their friends in big business to divide-and-rule by driving a wedge between public and private workers."
"Local workers, public and private, will have their opportunity to continue the fightback in the months to come within their own unions. Those who are not yet members of unions can take this opportunity to unionise and be part of the campaign for a better, fairer way for Ireland. But workers can also win by making sure their vote counts this June."
"Traditionally, Ireland has been unusual in European terms because large amounts of working people tend to support Fianna Fáil rather than a Labour or socialist party. But recent poll increases and a swell in our membership shows that, ever day, more and more people are turning to Labour as the real alternative. For the workers who return home by voting Labour, I pledge this litmus test - if elected, every decision I will take on the Council will need to be in the interests of working people and those excluded by society. And other parties simply don't match up to that test."