I’m sticking with Labour: Orla won’t follow father

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A family divided? Cllr Orla McLoughlin and Mayor Gerry McLoughlin, pictured in 2009 when the pair were elected as Labour councillors. Picture: Dave Gaynor
SOUTHSIDE Labour councillor Orla McLoughlin has confirmed she will remain in the Labour party - despite the resignation of her father.

SOUTHSIDE Labour councillor Orla McLoughlin has confirmed she will remain in the Labour party - despite the resignation of her father.

Cllr McLoughlin said she is “delighted” to be a part of what is now a three-person Labour bloc in City Council.

She admitted she was “surprised” Mayor Gerry McLoughlin did not talk his plans to quit the party over with her before going public with the news.

“I was surprised because I did not have the opportunity to discuss it prior to his resignation,” she confirmed.

Cllr Orla McLoughlin, currently Labour’s party leader in City Council, said: “As the party leader, I would discuss things with him, but my father is his own person, and it is a local issue which he wanted to deal with in his own manner. It is nothing to do with me.”

Asked whether she would remain in the Labour group, she said: “Of course, I have no reason to leave. I am delighted to be in the party.”

And she hopes that at some stage, her father will rejoin her in the party.

“As party leader, I am very disappointed, and I hope at some time in the future, he would reconsider. I know he has personal reasons. But I wish him all the best in that respect.”

Cllr Orla McLoughlin confirmed it is up to her father how he does things “irrespective of politics” when asked how she felt about not being consulted ahead of his resignation.

Mayor Gerry McLoughlin has said he will vote for who he feels “the best candidate” is in the upcoming mayoral election.

His former party colleagues are tied in to a pact with Fine Gael, which is expected to deliver a first citizenship to one of their candidates this year.

But Cllr Orla McLoughlin said she was “not in a position to comment” on whether that pact will hold up.

Earlier this week, Labour’s northside councillor Tom Shortt called on the mayor to step down both as a councillor and first citizen, saying he has “used and abused” the party - and his seat was won as a Labour member.

Cllr Orla McLoughlin declined to give a response to Cllr Shortt’s opinion.

“I really do not want to respond to that question. He is my father, and I respect him as a person. I am disappointed as party leader, but he is my father at the same time,” she said.

The three remaining Labour councillors met as a group this week with Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan to work out how to move forward in light of the mayor’s controversial resignation.