Splits on the left continue

A SPLIT within a split has emerged among left wing election candidates in Laois Offaly.

A SPLIT within a split has emerged among left wing election candidates in Laois Offaly.

In the wake of a revolt over John Whelan's selection by the Labour Party, it emerged last week that Liam Dumpleton was due to run for the United Left Alliance. However less then seven days later this arranged marriage has already broken down.

Mr Dumpleton has refused to sign the ULA's pledge and will instead run as an 'Independent' Labour candidate. Rathdowney man Ray Fitzpatrick has will replace the Birr jounalist as the Alliance's candidate. The announcement was made last Friday at the so-called Laois/Offaly Leftwing Initiative (LOLwI) meeting.

Mr Dumpleton reportedly told the meeting that he had no problem with Labour Party policy. The group said the group was "somewhat taken aback" but the moved straight away to select Ray Fitzpatrick. who said he was standing to break the mould.

"It is a huge task that needs to be done now because the next Government will surely be despised every bit as much as the present one within a couple of years. We need to build a progressive force for the future, a movement that might only start to blossom long after this election is over. We have to break the mould of conservative politics, not just in Laois/Offaly but throughout the country," said Mr Fitpatrick.

Responding to the news the Labour's John Whelan said there was no such thing as Independent Labour. He also took a swipe at Mr Fitpatrick.

"Even Che Guevara himself would not be left wing or militant enough for Ray Fitzpatrick..,The last time I saw him was bolting through a door at the Labour Party convention stealing a ballot box. I would respectfully ask him to return the ballot box so that labour can restore democracy in this country," he said

There are also unconfirmed reports the Jim O'Brien is considering running. The former Labour 2007 candidate strongly opposed Mr Whelan's candidacy.