Party Profile: Labour

A social liberal party, often placed on the centre-left of the political spectrum. Despite this, Labour essentially has no economic policy of its own, instead supporting, for the most part, the economic programme of whichever party it is in coalition with, which has varied between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in the last few decades.

Largely responsible for pushing the government to act on marriage equality and transgender rights, as well as on reform of the Senate, which ultimately came to nothing, and also reform of the Presidency, which also came to nothing.

Many of its TDs have arrived to the party from much further left, originating in the Workers Party and many, despite their loud criticisms of Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA, have had quite direct links to the Official IRA, which was the military wing of the Workers Party when these TDs were members of it (Workers Party). This connection has continued with Mairia Cahill, an abuse survivor at the hands of the IRA, whistleblower and also a known republican dissident (until extremely recently) now representing the party in the Senate.

Labour has been a strong force in the past on social issues and on tackling poverty, but in recent years has shied away from such issues in favour of regressive taxation, spending cuts, and has been hesitant on issues like abortion and religious discrimination in schools.

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