Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has told his party conference that 2014 may be the most important year for Ireland since the financial crisis began. 

In his leader's address, Mr Gilmore said the choices Ireland makes as it leaves the bailout behind and embarks on recovery will shape the future for years to come.

He outlined the party's achievements in Government at the conference in Enfield.

The Tánaiste stressed that the party is moving from better national Budgets to better family Budgets.

Mr Gilmore discussed social issues and how the party had led the way on making pregnancy safer and paved the way for a referendum on same sex marriage.

He said that the party would contest the European and Local Elections with confidence on the basis of its record in Government.

Earlier, Mr Gilmore launched an attack on the economic policies of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin.

Mr Gilmore told delegates that Labour had delivered on its promises to lead Ireland out of the bailout and renegotiate its terms.

He said it had eased the burden on working families and it would carry on giving breaks to working families.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said there has to be a social dividend that is concentrated on the lower-paid and disadvantaged communities, and narrows the gap between rich and poor.