“As a new and growing party committed to generating new ideas and solutions, we’re delighted to see so many of our policies already becoming law and improving the lives of Irish families for the better.”

The Social Democrats’ third National Conference – which takes place in Dublin on Saturday 22nd June 2019 – marks a year of electoral growth around the country for the party which has trebled its number of elected councillors to 19.

The full day event is the first gathering for party members since the election of 19 Social Democrats councillors, including 10 women, in the first local elections the party has contested since it was established in 2015.

The party also contested its first European elections last month, with Dublin MEP candidate Gary Gannon polling strongly whilst also retaining his council seat on Dublin City Council.

The theme of the conference is A Fairer, Sustainable Future. Keynote speakers are local government expert Dr Aodh Quinlivan from University College Cork and Frances Northrop, a community-led economic development specialist from the UK think tank, the New Economics Foundation.

Speaking ahead of the conference in the Gresham Hotel, the party’s chairperson, Peter Tanham said:

“We are delighted with the results of last month’s local elections which have put us on a very strong footing for a General Election, whenever that may be. We have 19 excellent new councillors, including five on Dublin City Council who have already secured important commitments in the Dublin Agreement which is the Council’s workplan for the next five years.

“We also have four first time councillors representing us on Kildare County Council and our two councillors returned to Fingal County Council, as well as electoral breakthroughs in other councils including Offaly, Meath, Cork, Galway and Limerick. A total of 15 of our councillors were first-time candidates, and many played important roles in their local communities during last year’s campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

“At Dáil level, the party has made an impact on issues that affect the country and all people. Our Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 passed the Oireachtas just last month and will enter into force on 1st September. The law extends unpaid leave for working parents of children under 12. The increase is to 26 weeks from the current 18. Its passage has opened up an important conversation on the need for greater work-life balance.

“Separately, proposals in our Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill 2018 aimed at reducing the risk of homelessness were adopted in recently passed government legislation. Our proposals significantly lengthened the minimum notice-to-quit periods that landlords must provide to their tenants.

“As a new and growing party committed to generating new ideas and solutions, we’re delighted to see so many of our policies already becoming law and improving the lives of Irish families for the better.”

SocDems 3rd National Conference – A Fairer, Sustainable Future. Download Agenda (PDF)

20th June 2019