By Mary Regan
Political Editor, Irish Examiner
Eamon Gilmore is struggling to retain hold of his leadership of the Labour Party after seven of his TDs and one Senator put forward a no-confidence motion against him.
It follows a dramatic implosion of the party which has been left without any MEPs and vastly reduced at local authority level.
A motion has been signed by TDs Ciara Conway, Dominic Hannigan, Michael McNamara, Ged Nash, Derek Nolan, Aodhan O’Riodain and Arthur Spring, as well as Senator John Gilroy.
It reads: “We the undersigned propose that the motion the Parliamentary Labour Party does not retain confidence in the Party Leader.”
Back bench TDs were in contact about the leadership issue last night, as reported in this morning’s Irish Examiner, following a disastrous result for the party in the weekend elections.
It’s understood that further discussions this morning resulted in the motion being signed. It will be submitted for debate at Wednesday’s meeting of the parliamentary party.
Mr Gilmore has called a meeting of his senior and junior Ministers this afternoon. But the loss of confidence of such a large portion of his parliamentary party means he is almost certain to face a leadership challenge.
Labour’s collapse has left it without a seat in Cork City Council - for the first time since 1979 - and almost wiped off the map across Munster.
It was also crushed in Dublin City where its number of councillors has dropped from 19 to eight.
Deputy leader Joan Burton refused to take questions on the issue of Eamon Gilmore's leadership this afternoon, walking away from reporters when asked about the motion of no confidence.
The Tanaiste's junior minister at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Joe Costello, has failed to state confidence in Eamon Gilmore, ahead of a meeting of Labour ministers this afternoon: