A week after one opinion poll showed Labour support fall to just 6%, Ballynacargy politician and Westmeath TD Willie Penrose, who quit Labour two years ago over the closure of Columb Barracks, is set to rejoin its parliamentary party this week.
Labour leader Eamon Gilmore welcomed his decision and said he is looking forward to having the benefit of his energy and enthusiasm as a colleague and a friend.
The barrister lost the party whip when he challenged the Government’s decision to shut down Mullingar’s Columb Barracks which shut its doors at the end of March 2012.
Earlier this year he confirmed he was planning a return to being a fully-fledged member of the party.
“I have been out of the Parliamentary Party for the past 15 or 16 months. I made my stand and now I feel it is better to be inside the tent,” he stated at the time.
“I’ve done my protest. I was annoyed at the party but I never fell out with them and I have always been loyal to the ethos and philosophy of Labour,” he told the Irish Independent this week.
He also attacked those who were criticising Labour from the sidelines.
“I’m sick to the teeth of a lot of people who wouldn’t get elected to a sheep-dipping committee who are always advising. We’re in the recovery phase now and I’d like to contribute my tuppence ha’penny worth as well,” he said.
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