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Tuesday, 9th June 2020

Paul Bell appointed to Labour Court

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Former Mayor of Drogheda Paul Bell at the Labour Court. Photo: Jimmy Weldon.

Leaving job with SIPTU and vacating Council seat

Paul Bell has confirmed that he has been appointed by Government to the Labour Court having been nominated by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

Rumours have been circulating since April when Bell was nominated for the post by SIPTU but Mr. Bell has played things very close to his chest.

The first that his colleagues on Louth County Council knew about his appointment was when they read it in the Drogheda Independent this morning. He did not even mention the fact that he was leaving at the Drogheda Borough AGM and Mayoral election last night at which he handed the mayoral chains to Councillor Kevin Callan.

It is a condition of his new job that he relinquish all roles of a political nature and he told Drogheda Life this morning that he will relinquish his post on June 28th, the day before he takes up his new job at the Labour Court. He will also leave his post in SIPTU.

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Bell told Droghedda Life that he had thought about leaving the Council in April but decided to finish us year as Mayor and work on the response to the Covid-19 both in his work with Siptu and the Council. He added that he would not be nominating anyone to take up his council seat. “I’m not getting involved in that” he said.

Paul Bell has been a permanent member of SIPTU staff for twenty five years having commenced his trade union activity as a Shop Steward in Becton and Dickinson. For several years he has been the Union’s Health Division Organiser.

He has served as an elected members of Drogheda Borough Council and Louth County Council for 16 years and was Mayor on four occasions and was Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council for one year.

“The decision to accept my Union SIPTU’s nomination to Congress wasn’t easily made as I love the work as a trade union official and public representative. Both of which I have served with energy and passion” he said.

“However the work of a Labour Court member allows me to continue my mission in advocating and supporting working people.

“…Both as Union leader and leader in my community there has never been a day that I did not want to serve my class, my members or my citizens. This ethos which has been deeply engrained in me since a very young age will underpin my attitude and approach to my future role.”

A tremendous honour- Nash

Congratulating Bell on his appointment as a member of the Labour Court, his Labour Party colleague Deputy Ged Nash said it is a tremendous honour and a real recognition of his skills and his deep understanding of the world of industrial relations.

“It is a great honour for Drogheda to have one of our own elevated to such a position” he said. “I am proud to call Paul a good friend and I will certainly miss him as a political colleague.

“We served together on the Council from 2004 until 2011 and worked hard and well together to serve our town and our county and the people we are proud to represent.

“Paul’s ability and track record as a representative of working people is absolutely unrivalled” Deputy Nash added.

“His work on behalf of health workers across the country - from home helps and healthcare assistants, to radiographers and paramedics - is without equal.

“One of his key achievements and a key legacy of Paul’s as a union official is the fact that the work, status and critical contribution of support staff and allied health professionals in our public health service is now more recognised than ever before.

“Paul worked hard with me and our team to win back Labour’s Dáil seat in Louth in February and I want to wish him well in his exciting new role and thank him for his work on behalf of the people of Drogheda over decades; as a shop steward, Labour Party member, activist, union official and as Mayor of our town.”

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