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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]

Labour Youth
Óige an Lucht Oibre
ChairpersonPatrick Ahern
Founded1979 (1979)
IdeologyDemocratic socialism
Trade unionism
Mother partyRepublic of Ireland Labour Party
International affiliationInternational Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY)
European affiliationYoung European Socialists (YES)
NewspaperThe Left Tribune


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.

In the 2007 General Election, Labour Youth opposed a pre-election pact with the centre-right party Fine Gael. 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.[2]

In recent years, Labour Youth has run campaigns on Repealing the 8th Amendment,[3] against sexism,[4] voting rights for 16 and 17 year olds,[5] workers rights[6] 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 late 2018, in the mist of Ireland's housing crisis Labour Youth distances itself from claims by the Labour Party leadership that direct actions such as occupations of buildings were not a valid form of political protest. With then Labour Youth Chairwoman 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”.[7]

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.[8] [9]

Following his election in 2018, Patrick Ahern is Labour Youth's current Chairperson.


As a prominently student organisation Labour Youth has long had a presence in many Universities and Institutes of Technology across Ireland. Originally confined to the larger and more prestigious universities such as Trinity, UCD and UCC, in more recent years efforts have been made to expand.[10]

Labour Youth is currently represented in:

Constituency level:


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.[11] The Labour Party Youth & Development Officer, currently Aideen Blackwood, is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the NYE.

Current Executive

Executive Position Officer
National Chairperson Patrick Ahern
Secretary-Treasurer Evin Ryan
Campaigns and Communications Officer Jake Murray
Policy & Education Officer Alexander Walker
Women’s and Trans Officer Olivia Malone
International Officer Sarah Dunne
Membership Development Officer Fintan Walsh

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

Tom Johnson Summer SchoolEdit

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. ^ "Labour Youth call on party to ditch coalition talks". 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
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  8. ^ "Dublin City Council: Chu Sets the Pace with Green Party Making Gains in All Areas". Irish Times.
  9. ^ "Co Kildare Mum Who Has New Baby Said She Went from Couch to Council in 3 Months". Kildare Now.
  10. ^ "Branches".
  11. ^ O'Mahony, Eleanor (2017-11-11). "Trinity Student Elected National Chair of Labour Youth". The University Times. Retrieved 2018-05-09.

External linksEdit