The Labour Party in county Limerick has been left in disarray following the resignation of the main officers and a number of members of the Con O’Neill branch in Kilfinane – the only branch in the Kilmallock electoral area.
The chairman, secretary and treasurer as well as a number of members of the branch resigned this Wednesday lunchtime in protest at the candidate selection process for the council seat vacated by Senator James Heffernan and the manner in which a secretary for Senator Heffernan was appointed.
The branch officers claim that there has been a failure on the part of Labour Party headquarters to consult with them, the members and the constituency council despite numerous requests to do so.
They have also hit out at Senator Heffernan for not informing the branch that he was looking for someone to fill the role of his secretary.
“We hadn’t been notified whatsoever. We found out through Labour Party headquarters. We believe it was advertised on the Labour Party website. On that score, we are a very small branch – we are the only branch in the Kilmallock electoral area and I mean it would have been very easy for Senator Heffernan to contact our secretary and advertise within,” said Ben Murphy, who has resigned as chairman of the branch.
“There was no contact whatsoever. With unemployment the way it is in the Kilmallock electoral area I am sure that there are a lot of people between here and Kilmallock and Martinstown (interested),” he added.
Senator Heffernan said that as far as he is aware there were five people interviewed by appointees from the party headquarters for the position. He said he hand “no say“ in who was chosen.
“To be honest I let them decide,” he said adding that his opinion wasn’t sought in relation to the matter.