Irish Labour Party urged to fight in Ulster
The Irish Labour Party is to be urged at its forthcoming conference to contest the next council elections in Northern Ireland.
The party has members and a constituency council in the province, but does not currently stand at the polls.
A conference resolution calling on it to fight the local government elections here has been tabled by northern members.
The party's conference will take place in Wexford in November.
Prominent Newtownabbey Labour activist Mark Langhammer is among those behind the elections call.
He sits on the party's National Executive and chairs its Northern Ireland constituency council.
The former Newtownabbey councillor said: "The resolution to the Wexford Conference will task the party to facilitate contesting the next local government elections.
"It is a modest proposal, pitched at local government elections only - and one that takes account of the potential for wider realignment in the longer term."
Mr Langhammer added: "This is not the time for those committed to reconciliation to hold back from real, governmental, politics."
The conference resolution is being backed by Limerick TD Jan O'Sullivan, who is standing for the Irish Labour Party's deputy leader post.
She said: "I have been supportive of the Labour members in Northern Ireland for some time now.
"I have written to Mark indicating that I would support the proposal that they should participate in local government elections."
Ms O'Sullivan added: "Obviously, we have good fraternal relationships with the SDLP but I think it is important that our own actual party members be free to contest elections as well."