FORMER Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan has told The Limerick Post that she is “seriously considering” an entry to the race for the leadership of the Labour Party.
Following the resignation of Joan Burton, four front-runners have emerged from the remaining seven Labour Party TDs with Deputy O’Sullivan joined by Wexford’s Brendan Howlin, Tipperary’s Alan Kelly and East Cork’s Sean Sherlock.
The Labour Parliamentary party is set to meet next Tuesday and Deputy O’Sullivan said that she may “throw a hat in the ring”.
The Limerick TD, who won a 1998 bi-election following the death of Jim Kemmy, said that the political landscape can change in a very short space of time so she would consider her position over the coming days.
“Well it’s true to say that a week is a long time in politics and things have turned right around. I remember that it was a very solemn walk in to the count centre at the University of Limerick Sports Arena after the General Election and I was on the cusp of losing my seat.
“But thankfully, the fat lady didn’t sing then and I went on to retain my seat and indeed a seat for the Labour Party.
“I will give this next option some very serious consideration.
Deputy O’Sullivan “bucked the trend nationally” when she secured 11 per cent of the Limerick vote at the February 26 election – and the last Dáil place in the four seat constituency of Limerick City.
“The Labour Party is strong in Limerick and it is around the rest of the country that we have to work on or rebuilding.
“It’s fair to say that I am one of the four, along with Alan, Sean and Brendan and I feel that I have a lot to offer the Labour Party through my experience.
“There’s plenty of fight left in this old dog”, Deputy O’Sullivan said as she recalled that just 24 votes separated her from a possible elimination in GE2016.
The race for the last seat eventually came at a cost to former Fine Gael TD and now Senator Kieran O’Donnell who was eliminated on the final count