Gilmore is new Labour Party leader
Gilmore is new Labour Party leader

Eamon Gilmore is certain to become the next Labour Party leader after a number of potential rivals confirmed that they would not be contesting the leadership election.

The party’s national executive committee set Thursday as the deadline for close of nominations for the leadership and deputy leadership, but Gilmore is the only nominee.

Gilmore’s political career has paralleled that of the outgoing Labour leader, Pat Rabbitte. From County Galway, Gilmore played a leading role in student politics before joining Sinn Féin - the Workers’ Party, (subsequently Democratic Left) and, following a merger of the parties, ultimately becoming Labour TD for wealthy Dun Laoghaire in south County Dublin.

He has received support from a number of senior Labour figures including former leader Ruairi Quinn, Michael D Higgins, Emmet Stagg, Jan O’Sullivan and Joan Burton.

It is also reported that Pat Rabbitte, who announced his decision to quit as leader a fortnight ago, would support Mr Gilmore in his bid to take the helm.

The only remaining leadership hopeful to declare, Tommy Broughan, quit the race on Monday night, giving Mr Gilmore a free run.

“It is of course possible that there may be another nomination or nominations but I so far I haven’t heard of other nominations,” Mr Gilmore said.

“We can’t call that until Thursday but it does look as though it is moving in that direction.”

The Ahascragh native said he was not setting out to be different “for the sake of being different”.

“My plan is to lead the Labour Party my way,” he added, without further explanation.

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