'Second term will require energy, skill and courage,' says Labour party leader
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'Second term will require energy, skill and courage,' says Labour party leader

LABOUR party leader Joan Burton has pledged to fight for a second successive term in Government, conceding that it will take “all our energy, skill and courage.”

The Tánaiste told delegates at the party's national conference in Killarney on Saturday that whilst it would be challenging, it would be achieved by working together.

“Now, the fight for a second term will take all our energy, skill and courage. It’s going to be tough. But it’s a fight we embark on with utmost conviction,” Minister Burton told the conference.

“Conviction in the core values of our part, conviction in our proven ability to deliver jobs and opportunity. We must take that conviction to the doorsteps.”

Opening the speech to the delegates, the Labour leader said that the party has risen to the challenge of rescuing the country in a dark and difficult hour.

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She added that in Government the party is driving forward an “extraordinary” economic recovery, and that it is gaining momentum.

Minister Burton said the shadow of crisis has passed and that Labour was central to this turnaround, with the number of jobs growing at a rate of 3,300 monthly, increasing wages, and re-investment into public services.

In her address to the conference, she outlined her objectives as leader, as: “building a social recovery and delivering opportunity for all, and to achieving a successive term in Government.”

She highlighted that “bidding the troika goodbye and exiting the bailout, shutting down Anglo and tearing up the toxic promissory note, and renegotiating our debt burden” were the party’s successes in the current term, that provided a gateway to progress on the economic and social fronts.

At the convention, the Labour party also passed a motion calling on the Government to reject a bid by British Airways owner IAG for shares in Aer Lingus if uncertainties about the sale are not addressed.

The party’s members want assurances regarding the future of the airline, before any sale can take place.

Former chief executive of Aer Lingus Willie Walsh is due to meet unions at the airline this week, with representatives of ICTU, IMPACT and SIPTU expected to attend.

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Representatives from Aer Lingus management are also expected to attend.

The meeting is scheduled to take place amid reports IAG is set to put forward a revised offer for the State's shareholding.