“I joined the Labour Party because of its core values of integrity and fairness and its progressive vision. I joined the Labour Party because it is the party of opportunity – for all. I know something about the importance of opportunities in life.
My adoptive parents, Bridie and John, had little money. But they had lots of love for us, lots of encouragement, and above all, lots of belief in opportunity. They knew the key to opportunity was education. I went to UCD on a scholarship, as my parents could never have afforded the fees. That scholarship was there to give people of my working-class background opportunities in life. And I joined Labour because it believed opportunity is what allows us – as Larkin said – to ‘close the gap between what ought to be and what is.’
We in the Labour Party do not measure success just by balanced budgets or bond yields. We measure success by the progress of our people. By the jobs they have and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the sight of communities prospering, and children thriving.
It doesn’t matter much to me that we get approval for Ireland’s recovery from boardrooms or rating agencies. It matters everything to me that we get the approval of the people. And for that, people must see the fruits of recovery in their lives. This is what we’re fighting for now – a shared recovery – the common good.
A decade of opportunity – for all.”