Róisín Shortall and Catherine Murphy have issued a joint statement following yesterday’s announcement that they are to step aside as co-leaders of the Social Democrats.
The party’s National Executive will meet this evening (Thursday, February 23) to make arrangements for the election of a new leader.
Both Catherine and Róisín fully intend to remain active in politics and are looking forward to continuing to build the party under its new leadership.
“When we decided to set up the Social Democrats in 2015, it was our belief that huge numbers of people were becoming increasingly disillusioned with politics. We wanted to set up a party for a new era – one that was not defined by old loyalties, old politics, old policies, cosy business connections or jobs for the boys.
“Today, with six TDs and 20 councillors around the country, the party has become a significant presence in Irish politics. We could not have achieved such impressive growth in a relatively short space of time without the hard work, dedication and loyalty of our members and supporters.
“As we stand aside as co-leaders, we do so safe in the knowledge that the party will continue to thrive and grow under our successor.”
“Having led the party for nearly eight years, we feel that now is the right time to hand over the leadership reins to the next generation of Social Democrats.
“It has been a huge privilege for us to lead a political party that has grown from scratch to the cohesive and expansive one that exists today.
“We want to assure our valued members and supporters that we will both be remaining in politics – and will continue to advocate and campaign on those key social democratic issues for which the party stands.
“We will, of course, be fully supporting our new leader – or leaders – in their work when they are appointed.
“We believe that the change in leadership heralds a new stage of development for the Social Democrats – and we are really excited about that. As we continue to grow the party, we look forward to sharing the next part of the journey with you.”
February 23, 2023