Labour will mark the 100th anniversary of its foundation next week when it holds its National Conference in Galway, but the United Left Alliance will hold a two-day counter-conference, in protest against Labour’s decisions in government.
The Labour conference will take place from Friday April 13 to Sunday 15 in the Bailey Allen Hall of NUI, Galway. Some 1,000 delegates are expected to attend the event. The official conference hotel will be the Hotel Meyrick, Eyre Square.
The ULA counter-conference will also take place in NUI Galway on April 13 and 14 and will feature opposition TDs, trade union leaders, campaigners, academics, and former Labour members who will challenge Labour on its coalition with Fine Gael and what the ULA sees as its failure to deliver “even the barest concessions for its working class constituency”.
Conference organiser Conor McGuinness explained the rationale behind the counter-conference.
“This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Labour Party,” he said. “The organisation that Larkin and Connolly established in 1912 has turned its back on working people, on women, on the elderly, and on the unemployed.
“This conference will provide a space for political activists, former Labour members, and supporters, trade unionists, working people, campaigners, and all those affected by unemployment and austerity to gather together to build a new movement for ordinary people.”
The counter-conference will be open to the public and the ULA is encouraging people to attend.
The conference will cover a wide range of issues such as education, health, job creation, the environment, women’s issues and rights, and the Irish language. There will also be a number of art and theatre events.
Topics and speeches will include ‘The IMF, ECB and International Financial System: Demystifying the crisis’; ‘100 Years of Labour: Time for a new party of the working class?’; ‘Creating Jobs and Defending Workers’; ‘Defeating Austerity, Destroying the Treaty’.
There will also be a debate between the ULA and Labour Youth entitled ‘Stay and Fight, or Leave and Build.’