Labour are holding one of their only Centenary Events in Clonmel tomorrow. One planned for earlier in the year in Clonmel (where the party was founded) had to be called off because of possible protests and the unwillingness of the party leadership to be subject to them again after protests outside the party conference in Galway.
Eamon Gilmore explains the significance of Clonmel to Labour history in an email sent out earlier this week;
Here is the correspondence about the event that went out a couple of days ago to those attending the event;Back where it all began
* In May 1912, trade unionists from all around Ireland, gathered at their annual conference in Clonmel. A motion, proposed by James Connolly and supported by James Larkin and William O'Brien, to establish a political wing was passed, and so was born the Labour Party.
* It would have been unthinkable to let the year of our Centenary pass without bringing Party members together where it all began, and on Sunday we will be gathering for a day of celebrations and commemorations in Clonmel.
* It will give us, as Labour Party members, an opportunity to look at where we have come from as a Party and as a Movement and what our role, as a progressive party should be, in shaping Ireland's future.
* All three of our local Parliamentary Party members Minister Alan Kelly; Senator Denis Landy; MEP Phil Prendergast, will be closely involved in the proceedings, and I would like to thank them, and Labour activists all over Tipperary for their support in getting this event off the ground.
Look forward to seeing you there,
The emphasis on having your ticket and on security is notable and will be explained below.Thank you for accepting our invitation to celebratethe foundation of the Labour Party in Clonmel.
This is an all ticket event and you must produce your ticket to gain entry to the event.
- Please find enclosed your Ticket(s).
- Hotel security will require seeing your ticket on arrival
- You will also require your ticket to register your attendance before entering the Ballroom where refreshments will be served.
- If you are travelling by bus, check that your ticket has a Head Office stamp on the reverse.
- The Dublin to Clonmel bus will depart from Labour Party Head Office, 17 Ely Place,Dubfin 2 at 10am. You will need to show your ticket with the stgmp on the reversetogain entry to the bus.
- lf you indicated you require the bus and there is no stamp on your ticket, we may haveorganised alternative transport BUT please call (01)xxxxxxx to check.
- lf you have any queries concerning this event, please email email@example.com or call(01)xxxxxxx.
Preliminary Outline for Centenary Celebration in Clonmel, 2nd December2012
1.30pm Registration and onto ballroom for refreshments
2pm Official welcome by Phil Prendergast MEP
2.15pm Senator Denis Landy to speak prior to Labour Councillors Centenary Pin presentation
2.40pm Minister of State, Alan Kelly TD to speak and introduce former Leader Dick Spring
3pm Panel discussion celebrating the 100 years of Labour Party
3.40pm Centenary speech by Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore TD
4pm Musical entertainment from Jimmy Kelly & Guests
4.30pm Special Guest Mary Coughlan
5pm Event concludes
6pm Bus departs
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A TICKETED EVENT AND YOU WILL NEED TO CARRY YOUR TICKET WITH YOU FOR ENTRY TO EVENT
However the other noticeable thing is the absence of an union figures. Labour get a fair degree of criticism here for links with the unions, but while such links do exist, it is not often appreciated that the current leadership, or more particularly those surrounding the current leadership, have as their goal the sundering of all such links in their hope of taking support from FG. While Labour was founded by the unions and still has links with them, no union figure is present on the agenda nor will be taking part in the panel discussions. The current chair of Labour, whose candidacy for the chair was nominated by SIPTU, also fails to feature.
The security feature is present because of the likely protests and indeed the following email has was circulated during the week;
There has been quite a concerted effort to get a protest going.Statement by Seamus Healy TD 087-XXXXXXX
Labour in government are about to attack low and middle income people again. Yet Labour has the brass neck to attempt to commemorate the founding of the Labour Party in Clonmel next Sunday.
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group will hold a protest picket outside the Minella Hotel beginning at 11 AM next Sunday.
Join the Protest!
A series of cuts in next Wednesdays budget have been leaked to the Irish Independent.
FAMILIES are facing a €10 cut in child benefit and medical card holders will see a doubling of the charges they pay for prescription drugs in next week's Budget. Changes to the over-70s medical card means test and reduction in entitlement the home package of free TV licence, electricity and telephone allowances are being considered.
The cuts and new taxes will include:
* A €10-a-month cut in child benefit, which will drop from €140 to €130.
* An increase in differential rents for local authority tenants
* Unemployment benefit period to be cut from 12 to 9 months.
* A doubling of the 50 cent charge that medical card holders pay for medicines and other items that they get on prescription from pharmacies.
* Property tax of 300euro on a house worth 150,000Euro to be deducted through the PAYE system from employees
However there is to be no increase in income tax for those on salaries for those on salaries above 100,000euro per year.
This is an absolute scandal.
The presence of Labour leaders in Clonmel next Sunday must be marked by a strong protest
Seamus Healy TD
All in all though, and allowing for the obvious sensitivities around celebrating anything in the middle of the our woes, Labour do seem to have failed to mark the occasion in any significant way. A lack of confidence? Shame? Or just that the current leader has shallow roots in the party and that those around him are essentially mercenaries, and that these two factors mean that they fail to attach any real importance to Labour's history, being as they are intent on finishing the process of alienating the party entirely from its working class roots.