Joan Burton has become the first woman to lead the Labour party defeating Alex White and replacing Eamon Gilmore. Earlier today, Gilmore wrote to An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny formally tendering his resignation and asking that Burton be installed in his place.
Gilmore resigned just after the Labour party’s disasterous result in the local and European elections in May and today he finally brought the curtain down on his 3 year, 3 month, 2 weeks and 2days (not that I am counting!) tenure as Tanaiste. Burton’s job has been made a little easier with the confirmation that Gilmore and the Education Minister, Ruari Quinn will go to the backbench following the cabinet reshuffle due to take place next week.
I suppose the fundamental question is, can Burton turn it around in time before the next election?
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs