By Kim O’Leary
Clondalkin-Rathcoole local representative Chris O’Dwyer has resigned from the Labour Party amid concerns over Party direction and leadership.
Speaking to the Dublin Gazette this week, Mr O’Dwyer explained that he intends to still continue as a local representative for the Clondalkin-Rathcoole constituency. “I have a large caseload of queries and issues I am working through. Residents in Clondalkin, Newcastle, Rathcoole and Saggart have reached out to me and have asked for my assistance and I want to make sure I get the job done. At present I am planning on running as an independent, I am open to hearing from other parties,” he said.
Speaking of his time with the Labour party, Mr O’Dwyer said that he was ‘very busy’ with a ‘massive caseload’ of work in the Clondalkin-Rathcoole area.
He said that he is ‘thrilled’ for Labour’s Ivana Bacick following her win in the Dublin Bay South by-election last week.
However Mr O’Dwyer has expressed concerns about the overall direction of the Labour party and its leadership in recent weeks.
“Despite my mammoth output as a local area representative I never felt appreciated for the work. I set up online public meetings and managed to land brilliant panel members such as Sarah Benson of Women’s Aid and Tony Duffin of the Ana Liffey drugs project but this never seemed to win favour with those running the party. I took over the role during the pandemic, I was also a frontline worker.
“In my resignation letter to the general secretary of the party I stated that the treatment and lack of support for local area reps was one of my causes of concern,” explained Mr O’Dwyer.
Mr O’Dwyer said that he and other members of the Labour party were unhappy with how they had voted with regard to the recent Palestine-Israel conflict.
“A number of weeks ago following a vote on Palestine and with the Labour party voting with the Government I was very winded. I formed an immediate response and organised members who, like me, were angry about how the party voted. Despite promises of change and a meeting to listen to our concerns the Labour party leadership fobbed us off and that was that.
“I plan to remain as a local area rep for the people of Clondalkin-Rathcoole and will continue to work through my casework,” concluded Mr O’Dwyer.