Speaking at the Labour Party Policy Forum, Limerick
It is my pleasure to welcome you here this evening.
This is the fifth and, for the moment at least, the last, in a series of Policy Forums, which I have hosted during the last month.
On occasions in the past when the Party has been in Government, we have often neglected the formation of Labour Party policy as we have concentrated on the business of Government and the day to day choices that entails.
When I became Party Leader – almost a year ago to the day – I was determined that that wouldn’t happen on this occasion. I was also determined that the Party membership would be involved to the greatest possible extent in setting out Party policy.
So, for the past few months a sub-committee of the PLP, under Derek Nolan as chairperson, has been looking at some of the key issues which we will present at the General Election at the start of next year. My own staff and Party staff have also been involved in the process.
One of those key issues is Education and Childcare.
Over the past four years, Labour in Government – firstly with Ruairi as Minister and recently with Jan – has introduced key reforms in our education system. (more…)