Labour leader Brendan Howlin has said the party are aiming to double the number of Labour councillors around the country at the next local elections in 2019, but has stressed that the party are also expecting to contest a general election before then.

Deputy Howlin was speaking to The Avondhu on a visit to Fermoy this week along with Cork East TD Seán Sherlock, to the site of the soon to be completed Gaelscoil de hÍde.

As well as visiting the construction site for the 24-classroom school in Fermoy, the Wexford TD was meeting with local party members around the county and expressed confidence that people are returning to the party despite the ‘disastrous election’ they experienced in February.

He panned the present Government set-up as the ‘dogs dinner’ and said the electorate realise the Fine Gael-led minority government is ‘powerless’ and one that will not last any reasonable time.

While accepting the ‘very clear message from the electorate’ in February when party numbers dipped from 37 seats to just seven in the Dáil, Deputy Howlin said he was proud of Labour’s time in government and its successes, with investment in education one example, given that the coalition government had inherited a ‘broken economy’.

“An economy,” he said, “that was literally hanging over the edge of the precipice. We could have gone the way of Greece and fallen over that precipice and we would have been ruined for generations to come. I suppose we were so busy doing the job of fixing a broken country that we didn’t spend enough effort explaining that to people.

Full report on this week’s Print & Digital Edition