Cllr Jerry Mullally, who has served as a county councillor and town councillor in Cork, wrote to the leader and general secretary of the Labour Party tendering his resignation as of yesterday and signalling his intention to run as an independent in the local elections.
The news is another significant blow for the party, coming just 24 hours after the mayor of South Dublin, Dermot Looney, quit, saying he was sickened by “its implementation of the austerity agenda”.
Cllr Mullally, a former mayor of Mallow who has been a member of the party for more than 20 years, said in a letter to general secretary Ita McAuliffe that “a number of decisions taken by the Labour Party in government affecting people in their daily lives” had contributed to his decision.
Cllr Mullally was espe-cially critical of the party’s support for withdrawing discretionary medical cards in the budget, reducing the invalidity pension, and abolishing the phone allowance for older people.
“Labour campaign for a ‘fairer society’, but the Labour Party quickly forgot about the people who voted for them. I feel, I can no longer be associated with these decisions,” he said.
He also criticised the party’s decision to support the property tax and water charges.
Labour has already been weakened in Cork following the recent announcement that two of its flagbearers on Cork County Council, John Mulvihill and Paula Desmond, will not be fighting the next local elections.
Mr Mulvihill said he was shocked by Cllr Mullally’s resignation. “I’m sorry to see him go. Jerry is a major loss and he will take a certain amount of support from the party,” he said.