Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has addressed the Labour Party Conference in Kerry where he highlighted the progress towards economic recovery that has been made in the 1,000 days since his party went into Government.

Up 1,000 delegates have been attending the conference in Killarney tonight.

Mr Gilmore said solid progress has been made towards recovery and he holds out the prospect of tax cuts when circumstances improve.

He said that there were times on taking office that he thought this country might not recover.

Mr Gilmore is using his conference speech to hold out hope, to those who had made sacrifices over the last five years.

He promised there would be no return to the policies that caused the crash.

He is telling his delegates that Labour had not caused the problems which he said had been deeper and more dangerous than many realised.

Speaking before the Tánaiste's address, SIPTU General President Jack O'Connor said that until Labour can form a majority in Government, the party must be prepared to go into Government with the Centre Right parties to defend the interests of working people.

Earlier, The Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte, met a number of TDs, Senators and councillors to discuss their concerns over the controversial overhead pylon issue.

The minister said consumers will be forced to pay higher electricity bills if underground powerlines are given the go ahead.

Meanwhile, Labour's deputy leader Joan Burton told the Labour Party Conference in Killarney, Co Kerry that wage-led growth is key to economic recovery. 

Minister Burton stressed the need to focus on a "living wage" and said the Government needs to safeguard wages from stagnation as the economy recovers.

Earlier, Minister Brendan Howlin told delegates that those responsible for the economic collapse must be held to account by the judicial system, as well as the forthcoming Oireachtas banking inquiry.

He also said that legislation which gave him 
power to issue public sector pay cuts is an emergency measure that he wants to get rid of as soon as is possible. 

The new Labout Party chairperson has been announced:

Earlier, a fringe meeting of the 'Campaign for Labour Policies' took place at 5.30pm in the nearby Lake Hotel.

A statement from the group, said, 'The title of the meeting is "Reclaiming the Labour Party".

It said the main theme will be starting a discussion about how we can move the party in a positive direction.

It will put forward positive policy alternatives to the ones currently being advocated by the party and pursued by it in Government.'

Separately, Minister Rabbitte said he was not worried about a report in the Irish Independent that he was "facing the axe" when there is a cabinet reshuffle.

Speaking at his party's conference in Killarney, he also said that he intends to run again in the next general election. 

The newspaper report claimed that Mr Rabbitte and Minister for Education Minister Ruairi Quinn could be demoted from Cabinet if they were not running in the next election. 

Mr Quinn told RTÉ Radio yesterday he had not made a decision on running in the election.