Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD and party candidate for Ireland East, Nessa Childers paid a one-day visit to Wexford today to boost the election campaign in the south east. The morning started in Gorey as they walked the Main St with Gorey candidates; Cllr Bobby Ireton and Joy Rice. Next stop was Wexford Town for a lunch time meeting with Wexford Chamber of Commerce. The chamber set out their analysis of structural problems in Co Wexford such as broadband, road and rail transport as well as the high cost of business which they attributed to rates and rents. Labour candidates Cllrs Ted Howlin, George Lawlor, myself, Brendan Howlin TD and Francis O’Connor from Enniscorthy TC also attended.
Next on the itinerary was Wexford General Hospital where Eamon said that he had asked the HSE to clarify exactly what they proposed to do with A&E. Final stop in the model county was New Ross where Eamon opened the campaign office for Ollie Somers and Labours trio for New Ross TC, Cllr Ingrid O’Brien, Martin Malone and Paul Crowdle. A good boost to the campaign, the feeling on the ground from the canvas tonight is that our support from 5 years ago is still there and it was enough then to elect 5.
We crossed paths with a FF candidate and people who we called to where he had canvassed previously, told me what they said on the door to the candidate. It’s not pleasant being an FF candidate now and I remember the 1987 election and I know the grief FF are shipping on the door because I remember taking it then. .
However, what I canvassed for then is different to what FF & The Greens are canvassing for now. Labour in 1987 wanted to defend the interests of ordinary people and basic services for communities. We left government because we couldn’t not vote to annihilate hospital beds which a vote subsequently for FF or the PD’s was. Remember they were let away with it by FG. Sadly our health services have never really recovered since the Tallaght Strategy.