Labour’s next leader needs to shrug off the past

The state’s oldest party has youth on its side but it needs to stake out new ground

Brendan Howlin announces his resignation as Labour leader last week, joined by Kevin Humphreys, Duncan Smith, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Ged Nash, Ivana Bacik, Alan Kelly and Seán Sherlock. Picture:

The Labour Party may be the oldest in the state, but when it comes to structure and determination, it is no match for Sinn Féin. Mary Lou McDonald’s party has more rules, is more organised and directs its decisions and policy more effectively and more bluntly.

Labour was always its target. Like a soccer coach, Sinn Féin studied its opponent and the weaknesses were plain to see, with the main one centring on organisation. While ...