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Labour will not be allowed enjoy celebrating its centenary when the party holds its 65th convention in Galway this weekend, as the event is set to attract protests from far left groups, rural communities, peace groups, the unemployed, and health campaigners.
Early last year when Labour decided to hold this year’s centenary conference in Galway, they could not have foreseen just how different the picture would be. They had just been elected into power along with Fine Gael on a tidal wave of dissent against the incumbent incompetents. They had elected many new TDs, bright young things whom it seemed had lots to offer the party in this new coalition. Here in Galway, we provided two of them — Derek Nolan and Colm Keaveney — and they represented a refreshing change, and in the Seanad, Lorraine Higgins has also been groomed for greater things. Happy days for Labour in Government and in Galway.
Protesters against austerity measures; cuts to health, welfare, and education; the use of Shannon as a US military hub; the closure of St Francis’ Nursing Home; and rural issues, will converge on NUI Galway this weekend where Labour is holding its national conference.