55 years of service to Westport Labour honoured - Political Quote

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

55 years of service to Westport Labour honoured

The Labour Party honoured Michael Joe Lavelle on Friday 15th December night. Michael Joe has been a loyal and dedicated member of the Westport Branch of the party for over 55 years and his service was recognised at the Westport Branch’s Christmas Party which was held on Friday night in Henehan’s Bar. The Branch and its supporters along with Michael Joe’s friends and family were present on to see him honoured.

Michael Joe was presented with a cut crystal bowl inscribed with a dedication and the party’s symbol of the rose by Emmet Stagg TD Labour’s Chief Whip and Nuclear spokesman. Deputy Stagg also read a letter to Michael Joe from Party Leader Pat Rabbitte TD. Deputy Rabbitte praised Michael Joe for his long and faithful service to the Labour Party over the last five decades and expressed the grateful thanks of the Irish Labour Party for his contribution to Irish socialism.

Cllr Keith Martin, Richie Lavelle, Michael Joe, Emmett Stagg TD, Andy Martin, John Tiernan

Deputy Stagg said Michael Joe was an example of true socialism “who had begun his involvement with Trade Unionism and Labour when he started work in the Shoe Factory in Westport. When that factory closed Michael Joe and others used their money to set up a co-operative to run the factory and kept the jobs in Westport for as long as they could.” Deputy Stagg said that Michael Joe had “served with distinction in every official position in the Branch and had served as Chairman on numerous occasions.”

Michael Joe spoke briefly saying how proud and grateful he was for the award. He thanked Deputy Stagg for being there to present him with his award and to give him the letter from Deputy Rabbitte.

“Westport and Mayo would be better off under a Labour government. Things are better now, but they are not good enough, they are sending people home from hospitals who need operations because they don’t want to put them on trolleys in the hall, well, that is not fixing the problem that is just hiding it and we need to change that because no one else will.

Michael Joe concluded “I am proud of the Westport Branch and proud of the work we have done over the years, they are a great bunch and are hard workers. We all have to do our best to help those who need it and Labour was the best party to help people.”

We had a great night with plenty of food, drink and craic and I would like to thank all those who came along to join in the fun.

The branch and I would also like to thank all those who helped out with the organisation of the evening’s entertainment and to all those who gave such great prizes for the raffle. Westport Labour would like to wish everyone a safe and happy New Year.

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