News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

August 23, 2007

Rabitte Resigns as Labour Party Leader

News About Ireland & The Irish

EX 08/24/07 Rabbitte's Exit Leaves Leadership Race Wide Open
SF 08/24/07 O Caol in Responds To Rabbitte's Resignation
GU 08/24/07 Adams: Panic At Passport Control
SF 08/24/07 Govt Responsible For Water Crisis In Galway
BN 08/23/07 Ireland Among Most Indebted Societies In Europe


Rabbitte's `Bolt From The Blue' Exit Leaves Leadership Race Wide

By Harry McGee, Political Editor
24 August 2007

THE Labour Party last night found itself facing an unwelcome
leadership race following the shock resignation of its leader Pat

In a move that one TD described as a "complete bolt from the
blue", Mr Rabbitte phoned surprised colleagues yesterday morning
to say he was stepping down.

The Irish Examiner understands that several dismayed colleagues
tried to dissuade Mr Rabbitte from resigning. But his
disappointment at the outcome of the election was deeper than had
been thought.

And with the Fianna F il-led coalition likely to serve a full
term of five years, he thought that he would not have sufficient
passion and energy to drive the fundamental changes that the
party needs.

The party's environment spokesman Eamon Gilmore was installed as
the early frontrunner but is likely to face a stiff challenge
from Brendan Howlin, the Wexford TD recently appointed to the
position of Leas Ceann Comhairle.
Both told the Irish Examiner that they would take advice from
family and colleagues before making any decision, but it is all
but certain that both will throw their hats into the ring.

Mr Howlin said his new position as Leas Ceann Comhairle would
cause no difficulties to any leadership bid if he were to go down
that road.

Others who might contest for the top position include the deputy
leader Liz McManus. She is acting leader following Mr Rabbitte's

Sitting alongside Mr Rabbitte at a press conference in a gallery
near Labour's HQ, she would not be drawn on the question.

"I have just taken the hot seat and I will wait until it cools
down a bit before making a decision," she said.

Other possible contenders include the finance spokeswoman Joan
Burton and R¢is¡n Shortall, the transport spokeswoman.

The decision by Mayo-born Mr Rabbitte, 58, to step aside came
after a family holiday in Kerry. He was known to have been deeply
disappointed that Labour failed to make gains on its 20 seats, or
to oust Fianna F il from government.

However, colleagues yesterday said that all expected him to lead
the party into a second term.

Mr Rabbitte yesterday stood over the Mullingar Accord with Fine
Gael, saying he was convinced it was the correct strategy.

He said it would be wrong to restrict any debate only to
electoral strategy.

"We must accept that Irish society has changed and we must change
in how we relate these values to today's electorate," he said.

A mercurial D il performer with a cutting wit and colourful turn
of phrase, Mr Rabbitte's political career was an eventful one
that took him from student politics to union official, through
various metamorphoses of the Workers Party, to Democratic Left
and to its merger with the Labour Party.

He won the leadership contest by a landslide in 2002 on a
platform of removing FF from government and creating a "fair
society". His party's electoral campaign in 2007 was slick and
professional but failed to make inroads as support consolidated
behind the big two, FF and FG.

The national executive of the party meets on September 1 to
decide on the ground rules for the contest in October.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern led the tributes to Mr Rabbitte, saying
his capacity, forensic intelligence and wit had enlightened
public debate. FG leader Enda Kenny said Ireland had lost a
political leader who passionately espoused a broader and better
vision for Ireland.

The Greens, Sinn F‚in and the SDLP also paid warm compliments to
the former leader.


O Caol in Responds To Pat Rabbitte's Resignation

Published: 23 August, 2007

Responding to Pat Rabbitte's resignation as leader of the Labour
Party this afternoon, Sinn F‚in D il Leader Caoimhgh¡n O Caol in
TD wished Deputy Rabbitte well in his continued role as a member
of the D il and said he hopes to have a good working relationship
with whomever succeeds him as Labour Leader collectively offering
a truly left opposition to the current Fianna F il/Green Party/PD

Speaking this afternoon the Cavan/Monaghan TD said, "Though we
have our political differences and have had an occasional spat on
the floor of the D il chamber, I would like to wish Pat Rabbitte
well in his continuing role as an elected member of the D il.

"While we will continue to have those differences we also share
similar views, particularly on socio-economic issues, and our
respective parties have supported each other when pressing those
issues in the D il.

"I hope to work well with whomever succeeds Pat as leader of the
Labour Party and hope that a good working relationship between
the Labour Party and Sinn F‚in will help ensure that we present a
truly left opposition to the current Fianna F il/Green Party/PD
coalition." ENDS


Panic At Passport Control

Queues, delayed flights and lost baggage all make travelling
arduous enough as it is. That's nothing - wait until you're
upgraded for a special security grilling, says Sinn Fein
president Gerry Adams

The Guardian Friday August 24 2007

Richard McAuley and I were the only male caucasians in the large
"holding room" at Newark airport, in the US. The rest of the
people there - men and women of all ages and even a scattering of
children - were mostly dark-skinned. The majority of our
companions looked as if they were of Middle Eastern origin.

It was at passport control that Richard, my press secretary, and
I were taken out of the line. Once our passports are put into an
airport computer, the machine tends to light up like the
Christmas tree at Belfast City Hall.

So, over the past decade or so, we have come to know a lot of
airport holding rooms. Lots of times, by arrangement with the US
state department, our entry into America is eased and an official
will take us out of the line. Open sesame - before we know it, we
are in the land of Uncle Sam, ready to be whisked off to whatever
event we are attending.

Lots of times, this process isn't quite so straightforward,
though. Once the computer lights up, that's it. In the holding
room, it may only be a matter of form, but it depends who is
about the place.

Sometimes the FBI is around. That can be a bit of a pain. Most of
the FBI people at airports are young fellas.

"Have you a schedule, sir?"

"Yup," I say, with the patience of a man used to spending four or
five hours at a time at the side of Irish roads in the company of
the British Army's Parachute Regiment, back in the days when
British Army roadblocks were daily rites of passage.

I hand the FBI young gun a copy of my travel schedule - a
document that has been in the possession of the US state
department for the past month or so.

"Huh," he says. "Why are you going to the White House, sir?"

"To see the president."

"Huh. Why?"

"He asked me," I say evenly.

My deadpan delivery is wasted on him. Maybe he is used to dealing
with wise guys.

"Why, sir?"

"I can't discuss that with you. Security ... you know what I

"Huh," he says, looking me straight in the eyes. I return his
gaze. I have been interrogated on a number of occasions at Palace
Barracks, where they beat you for the hell of it, so playing at
"blinking first" with the FBI apprentice and letting him win is
no problem.


Government Must Accept Some Responsibility For Water Crisis In
Galway - Ferris

Published: 23 August, 2007

Sinn F‚in TD Martin Ferris has said Government under-funding of
critical infrastructure such as water treatment plants is partly
responsible for the Galway water crisis and is likely to lead to
further water crises throughout the State. Deputy Ferris said the
Government's approach to water treatment is similar to their
approach to the State's communications, roads and our national
airline all of which were under-funded before being privatised or
partially privatised.

Speaking today Deputy Ferris said, "The blame for the water
crisis in Galway should not lie solely at the door of Galway City
Council but also at Government Buildings in Dublin. Consistent
under funding of local authorities and of critical infrastructure
such as water treatment plants is directly responsible for the
crisis that happened in Galway and is likely to lead to further
water crises throughout the State.

"The under-funding of water treatment throughout the state is
similar to the approach the Government took with the State's
communications, roads and our national airline all of which were
under-funded before being privatised or partially privatised. We
only have to look at what's happening in An Post and the ESB to
see what lies next on the chopping board of the privatisation

"When listening to warnings to about water shortages we should
always remember that this is a Government that is absolutely
committed to a privatisation agenda.

"I am calling on the new Environment Minister, the Green Party's
Minister John Gormley, to properly invest in water treatment
plants throughout the State and to adequately fund local
authorities to maintain their water supplies." ENDS


Ireland Among Most Indebted Societies In Europe

23/08/2007 - 13:00:51

Ireland remains amongst the most indebted societies in Europe,
according to new figures from the Central Bank.

One-third of all sectors across the economy recorded big
increases in credit in June, with property-related lending
accounting for three quarters of the rise in the 12 months to
June. Its share of total outstanding credit reached a record
level of 62.4% in June, from 60.1% a year earlier.

Only the Netherlands has a higher personal indebtedness rate than
Ireland amongst eurozone countries.

To Subscribe to Irish Aires Google News List, click Here.
To Unsub from Irish Aires Google News List, click Here
For options visit:

Or join our Irish Aires Yahoo Group, Click here

To Get RSS Feed for Irish Aires News click HERE
(Paste into a News Reader)

To August Index
To Index of Monthly Archives
To Searches & Sources of Other Irish News
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?