Stephen Gonnelly



From left: Stephen Donnelly, Roisin Shortall and Catherine Murphy

“Stephen Donnelly T.D. has informed us that he is leaving the Social Democrats.

We are disappointed that he has decided to walk away from the project, we undertook, to establish and build the Party.

The Executive Committee of the Party has reaffirmed its commitment to the vision of a strong economy, fair society and honest politics.

We are fully committed to the project and will endeavour to develop the Party into an exciting force for change in Irish Politics.

As is the case across the globe the defence of social democratic values is not dependent on one personality or politician – but rather is a collective pursuit.

Since the Social Democrats were first founded, in July 2015, we have worked to build the party brick-by-brick. This is a long term project which requires dedication, hard work, long hours and a major commitment from all involved including our elected representatives.

The levels of dedication required for such a major undertaking can be overwhelming for some.

However our elected Councillors, our staff team and our volunteers are passionate about our project and we will now get on with the job of building our party.

We wish Stephen the best in his future endeavours and look forward, with excitement, to the future development of the Social Democrats.”

A statement by the Social Democrats announcing the departure of Stephen Donnelly.


More as we get it.





Statement via Gavan Reilly. Pic: Soc Dems


Sponsored Link

82 thoughts on “Stephen Gonnelly

  1. Owen C

    “The levels of dedication required for such a major undertaking can be overwhelming for some.”

    Little bit catty there.

    1. Robert

      Given the timing and his stated convictions I’d say it’s something more like the other way round … #AppleTax

      1. Coppélia

        Most likely . There hasn’t been a peep out of him regarding #Appletax. Big loss for SD. One of the few with talent.

          1. Robert

            Me too. If that is indeed the way of it, it’s a mistake for SD, who now may as well just join the ranks of AAA-PBP.

          2. Robert

            Actually maybe not. I misread he does actually take the position I thought he did … i.e. “trouser the money”.

  2. Joe Small

    He was never a good fit. Many felt his track record suggested someone who was a far bit more to the right than most Social Democrats. So, first they gain no seats in an election and now they lose a third of their Dáil representation. Its hard for a small party. They can either struggle on or, in time, rejoin the Labour Party.

    1. ahjayzis

      I don’t see anyone of the centre-left bothering to join the Labour party while that noxious smirking dwarf is leader.

      1. Joe Small

        I think politics and public discourse could do without snide personalised comments like that. Its enough to say you don’t like or agree with him politically.

        1. Kieran NYC

          ahjazis does tend to make it extremely personal and looks-based. You should have seen what he used to say about Joan Burton.

  3. Harry Molloy

    Not hugely surprised. Although I haven’t loved some of his positions lately, I always saw him as head and shoulders above the rest of the party – my hope was that the SDs would be full candidates at his level but I suppose you will always have some signing stars.

    I’d be curious to know why he really is leaving, does he think he’ll fare better alone, was he frustrated with caliber within his own party, maybe he feels he can do more by joining an existing party and trying to change from within?

    I’m thinking there’s a conflict of opinions, way wouldn’t he built the party up towards the next election given its infancy?

    1. Harry Molloy

      Statement on his website essentially said he didn’t get on with the leadership team.

      I’m going to call it as realism vs populism

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Of course you will. Anything to diminish and demean them. You have literally no idea what happened but you’re going to “call it” anyway. Utterly delusional.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            I’m all the better now I know you’re here to entertain everyone with your never ending quest to embarass yourself.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            Oh, are you feeling down? Poor little fella. You’ll feel better after your nap. I’d rather you didn’t hug me though, to answer your question. I know you hear that a lot and I don’t want to provoke painful memories but, well, you know…

          3. Owen C

            So you’re still at the anger stage of grief. That’s understandable. My guess is you’ll be stuck there for a while before moving on to bargaining.

      2. Coppélia

        ie. if you prefer your politics as some sort of repository for whims , rants and paralysis rather than compromise and action.

        1. Kieran NYC


          They don’t want to actually get anything done, gawd no. That might lose them a vote. They prefer to stay ideologically pure and morally superior.

          They believe that eventually everyone will see the light and come around to their OBVIOUSLY CORRECT point of view.

          1. :-Joe

            A lot of people i.e. the majority that don’t have a nice comfy safety net just want reforms and to try the ideas we know have worked better elsewhere.

            Even to try new ideas that might fail are better than keeping the status quo going with very small and slow incremental change.

            You’re assumption that the opposite off them is some kind of uber-political utopia is just daft.


  4. Maire

    Wonder if there is a ‘human’ actually monitoring Santa’s Naughty List as its over a year now. I’d be out of Mountjoy quicker!

  5. D'oh

    I think he will probably retire completely from politics now that he see’s it’s pretty much impossible to make any real change.

    1. Harry Molloy

      I’d love if he redoubled his efforts at creating a party but was a little smarter about shared ideologies and intellect

      1. D'oh

        yes it would be amazing to have a Party with ideals, that would stand up to injustices, would make actual hard\unpopular decisions that are genuinely in the public good. but unfortunately that will never happen.

          1. :-Joe

            He’s right, raising taxes is the only mechanism that corrects the downside of this fake free-market state-capatilist system.

            It forces the greedy and corrupt speculatiors and vultures fund w/b-anksters to shrink and move back out to the fringes allowing the economy to correct itself and grow much faster in the medium to long-term

            Unfortunately though, it means forcing a very tough and deep recession in the short-term but it’s a lot better than a prolonged mid to long-term austerity FAKE PLAN which is what we have now.

            We don’t have any economists in our government working for the country. We have financial clerks who have outsourced their ideaology, philisophy and common sense from very large and greedy powerful centres of finance.



  6. Jordofthejungle

    Disappointing news. Admittedly, he was the main reason, I, as a centrist, gave the SDs a second look. The issue that arises now is whether the SDs are lurching further along the left spectrum than the now sadly unpopular centre-left where they should be. I think Stephen Donnelly suffers from the same problem as many of us who are slightly to the right economically and to the left socially. No current party is a good fit.

    1. ahjayzis

      What about the SD’s is hard-left to you? Genuine question, I’ve not got that vibe off them at all.

      Refusing to support a taxation measure so bungled and made so toxic by mismanagement isn’t populism, it’s democracy / pragmatism. Fine Gael and Labour have poisoned the well on water for a generation. Their mishandling has made domestic charges unfeasible for the foreseeable. That’s just reality IMO.

    2. louis lefronde

      @Jordofthejungle – You are correct, there is no Liberal party, and therein lies the problem. ‘The Egg’ should focus on building a Liberal Democratic party.

    3. The Real Jane

      How does right of the spectrum economically and left socially actually work? Has there been an instance yet of right wing economics which have promoted any left wing social agenda issue successfully? Will lower taxes improve education, housing and health provision for the disadvantaged, for example?

  7. Water Boy

    Very bitchy last line. When you are able to live a party it is fun, when the dogma gets too trot then of course it is overwhelming.

  8. Andy

    3 leaders, all former independents (al beit short stint for shorthall). Was always going to struggle to work. Probably wasn’t anything ideological, probably just personality driven – not everybody gets on. They didn’t really share their pet projects did they? Meh, they’ll all survive and be easily reelected I’d expect.

  9. Steve

    But what about Gary!!

    And Anne-Marie!!!!

    They dodged the heffernan issue but they can’t ignore this like

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Link