Labour Youth Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labour_Youth

Labour Youth
Óige an Lucht Oibre
ChairpersonJames Kearney
Founded1979 (1979)
IdeologySocial democracy
Mother partyRepublic of Ireland Labour Party
International affiliationInternational Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY)
European affiliationYoung European Socialists (YES)
NewspaperThe Left Tribune
Websitelabouryouth.ie Edit this at Wikidata

Labour Youth is the youth wing of the Labour Party of Ireland. Membership is open to those aged from 16 to 30 years old.[1][2]



Labour Youth succeeded the Young Labour League as a full section of the Party in 1979, under Party Leader Frank Cluskey. Members were active in the election of presidential candidate Mary Robinson, forming a base of membership during the campaign that would provide the backbone of leadership within the organisation for years to come. They provided leadership to the National Youth Council of Ireland and in 1992 were among the founding members of the European Council of Socialist Youth. In 1999, along with the main party, Labour Youth merged with Democratic Left Youth.


The Spring 2007 issue of Labour Youth's internal publication, The Left Tribune, shows support for abortion and same sex marriage, along with contributions from Michael D. Higgins.[3] In the 2007 General Election Labour Youth opposed a pre-election pact with the centre-right party Fine Gael. Also in 2007, it supported the Venezuelan revolution.[4] In 2009, Labour Youth criticised the then government's attitude to education.[5] The Autumn 2007 issue of The Left Tribune promotes Labour Youth's support of Cuba and its endorsement of the International Brigade in Spain, with then Labour Youth Recruitment Officer Enda Duffy featuring in a photograph of a panel at a commemoration event and the noted naming of the UCD Labour Youth branch in honour of Michael O'Riordan.[6] Also in 2009, it collaborated with CYM (linked with the Communist Party) on environmental campaigns.[7] The group undertook an active and visible role in the 2011 Irish General Election in support of young candidates such as Ciara Conway, Patrick Nulty and Derek Nolan. They later called on the Party to abandon talks on forming a coalition government with Fine Gael, describing the proposal as undemocratic.[8]

Since the turn of the 2000s, Labour Youth has run campaigns on repealing the 8th Amendment,[9][10] against sexism,[11][12][13] voting rights for 16 and 17 year olds,[14] workers rights,[15] same sex marriage,[16] sexual consent,[17] ending Direct Provision,[18] along with other issues related to students and young people. Labour Youth also takes an active role in supporting young Labour candidates in elections. In 2009, the organisation donated €14,000 to 'young candidates'.[19]

In 2015, Labour Youth released a policy paper on ending Zero Hour contracts and stated that Ireland was leading the way in LGBTQ+ rights.[20][21] In February 2015, Chairperson Jack Eustace stated that more companies 'should follow Eircom's lead' in job creation.[22] In 2016, it released a document opposing homophobia, transphobia and sexism.[23] In May 2016, at a gathering of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) youth group and the Labour Party youth group in Belfast, joint chairs Grace Williams (LY) and Conal Browne (SDLP) emphasised the importance of young people supporting the EU.[24] In June 2016, Labour Youth released a statement saying that they were 'deeply shocked' by the UK-EU Referendum result, with Chairperson Grace Williams stating that "It is my firm belief that international cooperation is vital in tackling common global issues such as corporate tax evasion, climate change, and responding to the refugee crisis. As global citizens, we are all equally responsible for solving these issues. No country can tackle these issues alone. Unfortunately, the UK vote has left a series of unanswered questions. Among a plethora of other concerns such as workers' rights, job creation, and trade, I am extremely worried for the future of the North of this island. We must not allow the result of this referendum to threaten the peace process and the many years it took to bring about stability. We must not forget that the campaign that drove this referendum result was one of fear and hate. It is crucial that we, as a society, come together to eradicate the xenophobia and racism that Leave advocates deem acceptable. We will not accept hate in our society. Continued cooperation is essential. I will be reaching out to our colleagues in the SDLP and British Labour Party over the coming days".[25]

In 2017, Labour Youth released a document proposing state funded tuition for higher level education.[26] In November 2016, former USI President Kevin Donoghue had been elected Chairperson of Labour Youth at the organisation's annual conference.[27] In 2017, Labour Youth condemned the income-contingent loan scheme and launched a campaign for workers to be paid the Living Wage.[28][29] In December 2017, actions by Labour Youth in Maynooth had been condemned as “juvenile” and “disrespectful” after ‘F*** the Pope’ was posted twice from their official social media account. An image of the Communications Officer of Labour Youth, Liam Haughey, was posted with him holding a sign which read “I am pro-choice because… F*** the Pope”. The Labour Party released a statement acknowledging the posts, saying they were brought to the party’s General Secretary but had since been removed.[30]

In March 2018, Labour Youth welcomed the Board of Trinity College’s decision to make concessions on two of the Take Back Trinity Movement’s demands – to scrap the unfair €450 charge for supplemental exams and granting fee certainty fees for postgraduate and international students.[31] Labour Youth also called on Ryanair to 'address the concerns of pilots'.[32] In late 2018, in the midst of Ireland's housing crisis, Labour Youth distanced itself from claims by the Labour Party leadership that direct actions such as occupations of buildings were not a valid form of political protest. This was followed by then Labour Youth Chairperson Chloe Manahan stating "Civil disobedience and protest have been core to this movement since its inception. It is crucial that Labour activists feel supported and empowered to do what is moral, just and right – not simply what is allowed”.[33]

Labour Youth played an active role in the 2019 Irish local elections supporting several of their members who ran for local councils. Former Chair Kevin Donoghue was elected to Dublin City Council while former Secretary Ciara Galvin was elected to Kildare County Council.[34][35] As of its website update in 2019, Labour Youth said that it "recognises the importance" of the proposed Che Guevara statue in Galway City.[36] Labour Youth members canvassed for UK Labour in the 2019 United Kingdom general election.[37] In 2019, Labour Youth reiterated its support of the EU.[38][39][40] In September 2019, a Labour Youth campaign on 'decent housing for all' was launched by Chairperson Patrick Ahern.[41]

Following his election at the Labour Youth National Conference in Waterford City, which was held on the weekend before 25 November 2019, Cormac Ó Braonáin was Labour Youth's Chairperson until his death on 15 December 2019, having been struck dead by a Luas (tram) whilst cycling home from a protest.[42][43][44][45][46]

The year 2020 saw the re-expansion of Labour Youth branches at council level, such as the Labour Youth Lucan-Palmerstown Branch and the Muskerry Labour Youth Macroom LEA - Timothy Quill Branch.[47][48] According to official Facebook pages, the last presence of a Labour Youth branch at council level appears to be a Clondalkin-Rathcoole Branch, however this branch page has not posted anything since 4 March 2017.[49]

Labour Youth released a post-coronavirus society document in July 2020. In it included the retention of rent freezes, permanent state-ownership of hospitals, a 'revamp' of industrial relations, opposition to 'green' capitalism, the implementation of Slaintecare and a 'vast' housing programme, universal childcare, commitment to co-operatives, public ownership, cultural vibrancy, LQBTQ+ friendly spaces, the ending of worker exploitation, an overhaul of education and climate justice.[50]

Sarah Noville is the current chair of Labour Youth and was elected in November 2020.[citation needed]


As a prominently student organisation, Labour Youth has long had a presence in many universities and (formerly) institutes of technology across Ireland. Originally confined to the larger universities such as Trinity, UCD and UCC, in more recent years efforts have been made to expand.[51]

Labour Youth is currently represented in:

According to Facebook, there was a Labour Youth branch set up in Queen's University Belfast, however, its Facebook page has not posted any content since January 2014.[52]

Constituency/Combined Constituency level:

Council level:

  • Muskerry Labour Youth Macroom LEA - Timothy Quill Branch[47]
  • Labour Youth Lucan-Palmerstown Branch[48]


The National Youth Executive (NYE) is responsible for the day-to-day running of Labour Youth. Officers are elected to the NYE at Youth Conference, held in November each year.[53][54] The Labour Party Youth & Development Officer, currently Aideen Blackwood, is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the NYE.

Current Executive

Executive Position Officer Constituency
National Chairperson James Kearney Dún Laoghaire
Policy & Education Officer Conal O’Boyle Dún Laoghaire
Membership Development Officer Grace McGoldrick Dublin Mid-West
Secretary-Treasurer Shane Lynch Louth
Campaigns Officer Lhamo Fitzsimons Wicklow
Communications Officer James Joy Cork South-Central
Women's and Trans Officer Lauren Shaw Limerick City
International Officer Luke De Lacey Dublin South-West
North-South Co-operation Officer Darragh O'Reilly Fermanagh and South Tyrone

Former National Chairs

Leader Term
John Kelleher 1979–1980
Michael Martin 1980–1983
Ray McLoughlin 1983–1985
Michael Barry 1985–1988
Vincent Byrne 1988–1989
Paddy Glackin 1989–1991
Edward Dawson 1991–1993
Desmond Cullen 1993–1994
Fearghal O'Boyle 1994–1996
David Leech 1996–1997
Mark Garrett 1997–1999
Cian O'Callaghan 1999–2001
Alan Kelly 1999–2001
Áine Morris 2001–2002
Rebecca Moynihan 2002–2004
Donal Lyons 2004–2005
Graham Ó Maonaigh 2005–2006
Patrick Nulty 2006–2007
Enda Duffy 2007–2008
Gary Honer 2008–2009
Rory Geraghty 2009–2010
Colm Lawless 2010–2011
Conor Ryan 2011–2012
Aideen Carberry 2012–2013
Ciarán Garrett 2013–2014
Jack Eustace 2014–2015
Grace Williams 2015–2016
Kevin Donoghue 2016–2017
Chloe Manahan 2017–2018
Patrick Ahern 2018–2019
Cormac Ó Braonáin 2019
Adrian McCarthy 2020
Sarah Noville 2020-21

Tom Johnson Summer School[edit]

The Tom Johnson Summer School is held annually in July. It is named after Tom Johnson, the first leader of the Labour Party and the only leader to date to serve as the leader of the opposition in Dáil Éireann. At Tom Johnson, panel discussions are held on a number of topics, with speakers from within and outside of the Party.


Labour Youth publishes The Left Tribune on a regular basis.


  1. ^ [1]. Labour Youth (official website).
  2. ^ "NYCI".
  3. ^ Labour Youth (2007), Left Tribune, Vol. 2, No. 5, Labour Youth, retrieved 18 June 2020
  4. ^ Ireland, Hands Off Venezuela-. "Irish Labour Youth supports Venezuelan revolution and Hands Off Venezuela campaign". In Defence of Marxism. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Labour Youth slams Govt attitude to education". Breaking News. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  6. ^ Labour Youth (2007), Left Tribune, Vol. 2, No. 6, Labour Youth, retrieved 18 June 2020
  7. ^ Loughlin, Seamus. "Ireland: Labour Youth, the Connolly Youth Movement, the Greens and the March 30th Strikes". In Defence of Marxism. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Labour Youth call on party to ditch coalition talks". Independent.ie. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Repeal The 8th Amendment – Labour Youth".
  10. ^ "#Repealthe8th leaflet from The Labour Party". Irish Election Literature. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  11. ^ "Say NO to Sexism & Homophobia! – Labour Youth".
  12. ^ Says, Keith (2 October 2012). ""Say No To Sexism and Homophobia" Leaflet from Labour Youth". Irish Election Literature. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  13. ^ Party, The Labour (11 August 2010). "Labour Youth publishes policy document |". The Labour Party. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  14. ^ "[email protected]! – Labour Youth".
  15. ^ "Young Workers' Guide – Labour Youth".
  16. ^ "Leaflet from Labour Youth "Do u want ….. Free Education … Same Sex Marriage … A Living Wage….."". Irish Election Literature. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  17. ^ Says, seachranaidhe1 (29 March 2018). "Poster about Consent from Labour Youth". Irish Election Literature. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Grant Asylum Seekers The Right to Work leaflet from Labour Youth". Irish Election Literature. 4 February 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  19. ^ Party, The Labour (15 April 2009). "Labour Youth donates over €14,000 to young candidates |". The Labour Party. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Tackling Zero Hour Contracts". Issuu. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  21. ^ Party, The Labour (4 June 2015). "Ireland leading the way on LGBTQ rights - Labour Youth | Labour Youth". The Labour Party. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  22. ^ Party, The Labour (4 February 2015). "More companies should follow Eircom's lead - Labour Youth | Labour Youth". The Labour Party. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  23. ^ "Say no to homophobia, transphobia & sexism". Issuu. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  24. ^ Party, The Labour (30 May 2016). "Young people must support the EU | Labour Youth". The Labour Party. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  25. ^ Party, The Labour (24 June 2016). "Labour Youth deeply shocked by referendum result | Labour Youth". The Labour Party. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  26. ^ "Education for the Next Generation". Issuu. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  27. ^ Party, The Labour (13 November 2016). "FORMER USI PRESIDENT ELECTED CHAIR OF LABOUR YOUTH | Labour Youth". The Labour Party. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  28. ^ Party, The Labour (2 May 2017). "LABOUR YOUTH CONDEMNS INCOME-CONTINGENT LOAN SCHEME PROPOSAL | Labour Youth". The Labour Party. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  29. ^ Party, The Labour (19 January 2017). "LABOUR YOUTH LAUNCHES 'LIVING 2019' CAMPAIGN | Labour Youth". The Labour Party. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  30. ^ Brady, Chai (14 December 2017). "'Juvenile' Labour Youth reminded of social media codes". The Irish Catholic. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  31. ^ Party, The Labour (28 March 2018). "Labour Youth commends the two victories of the Take Back Trinity movement | Labour Youth". The Labour Party. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  32. ^ Party, The Labour (3 July 2018). "Labour Youth calls on Ryanair to address concerns of pilots | Labour Youth". The Labour Party. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  33. ^ "No divergence between Howlin and party's youth wing, says Labour".
  34. ^ "Dublin City Council: Chu Sets the Pace with Green Party Making Gains in All Areas". Irish Times.
  35. ^ "Co Kildare Mum Who Has New Baby Said She Went from Couch to Council in 3 Months". Kildare Now.
  36. ^ "Culture, Heritage and Sport". Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  37. ^ Crewe, Simon Carswell in. "On the UK canvass: Brexit tensions make for vicious election". The Irish Times. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  38. ^ Cormac Ó Braonáin [@cormacobraonain] (6 October 2019). "Great to represent @Labour with @chloemanno at the PES Academy in Leuven, Belgium over the weekend. Lots of campaigning strategies and stories shared among our @PES_PSE European Comrades. Looking forward to sharing all their brilliant ideas back home in Ireland 🌹🇪🇺 #PESAcademy t.co/TlNJ93qqj4" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 January 2021 – via Twitter.
  39. ^ Labour Youth [@labouryouth] (16 July 2019). "Here's @HackneyAbbott speaking at #TJ19 about the @UKLabour party position on #Brexit t.co/fgY57wwzwW" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 January 2021 – via Twitter.
  40. ^ Labour Youth [@labouryouth] (7 December 2019). "Delighted to be canvassing for the titan @ClaireHanna in #GE19 We need strong Remain Candidates in NI, to ensure our peace process is protected 🕊 t.co/wOXD5ZhJzE" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 January 2021 – via Twitter.
  41. ^ Party, The Labour (17 September 2019). "Labour Youth launches new campaign on decent housing for all | Labour Youth". The Labour Party. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  42. ^ "Cyclist who died after collision with Luas named as Labour Youth Chair Cormac Ó Braonáin". TheJournal.ie.
  43. ^ Party, The Labour (29 June 2016). "Left Field | Labour News". The Labour Party. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  44. ^ Party, The Labour (25 November 2019). "Labour Youth elects new Chairperson and Executive Committee | Labour Youth". The Labour Party. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  45. ^ Pope, Conor; Bowers, Shauna. "Cyclist who died in Luas collision was chair of Labour Youth". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  46. ^ "LGBT+ community pays tribute to Labour Youth leader who died after collision with Luas". GCN. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  47. ^ a b "Muskerry Labour Youth - Timothy Quill Branch". facebook.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  48. ^ a b "Labour Youth Lucan/Palmerstown". facebook.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  49. ^ "Labour Youth Clondalkin Rathcoole". facebook.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  50. ^ Labour Youth Post-COVID Society
  51. ^ "Branches". labouryouth.ie.
  52. ^ "Queen's University Belfast Labour Youth". facebook.com. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  53. ^ O'Mahony, Eleanor (11 November 2017). "Trinity Student Elected National Chair of Labour Youth". The University Times. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  54. ^ "Cian (20) elected to Labour Youth's national executive". independent. Retrieved 18 June 2020.

External links[edit]