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Alan Kelly becomes new Labour leader

The Tipperary TD defeated Aodhan O Riordain in the vote to replace Brendan Howlin

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Alan Kelly is the new Labour leader (Chris Radburn/PA)

Alan Kelly is the new Labour leader (Chris Radburn/PA)

Alan Kelly is the new Labour leader (Chris Radburn/PA)

Alan Kelly has been elected the new leader of Ireland’s Labour Party.

The Tipperary TD defeated Aodhan O Riordain in the contest to succeed Brendan Howlin.

Dublin Bay North TD Mr O Riordain called Mr Kelly to concede defeat as the counting of the votes of about 2,000 party members neared conclusion on Friday.

“Time now to unite and work together for our great party and our country,” Mr O Riordain tweeted.

Mr Howlin announced his decision to quit in the wake of the party’s disappointing performance in February’s general election.

Labour emerged from the election with only six seats, its worst ever result.

The party has shown little sign of reversing a decline in fortunes linked to its time in government as Fine Gael’s junior coalition partner.

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Brendan Howlin announced his decision to step down as party leader following the general election (Brian Lawless/PA)

Brendan Howlin announced his decision to step down as party leader following the general election (Brian Lawless/PA)

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Brendan Howlin announced his decision to step down as party leader following the general election (Brian Lawless/PA)

Labour has been mooted as a potential third party to join a new Fine Gael/Fianna Fail coalition government.

However, party TDs have so far insisted that their preference is to spend the next mandate on the opposition benches in the Dail.

General secretary of the union TSSA, Manuel Cortes, congratulated Mr Kelly.

“I really welcome Alan Kelly as our party’s new leader and look forward to working with him over the coming years,” he said.

“I know Alan from his time at the Department of Transport and hope to build on the relationship we established then for the benefit of our members.”

PA