The Labour leader has criticised the Fine Gael-led Government at his party's think-in in Dublin.
Brendan Howlin told his party's members that at a time when the country needed ambition it has chaos.
He said we have a Government for whom existence was an end in itself.
He added that if the current administration survived, their time in office would be known as the lost years.
The Labour leader said there was no easy road back for his party - which was reduced from 37 seats to 7 in this years election.
However, he insisted Labour could win back support by building an inclusive leadership and by proposing genuinely progressive solutions to the problems facing the country.
TDs and senators are being joined by councillors and former elected representatives in Dublin's Mansion House as the party tries to chart a way forward.
The problem the party faces is acute, from its leader down as senior Labour figures worked closely in government with Fine Gael - a party it must now shoot down from the Opposition benches.
Tomorrow delegates will consider the economy, childcare and employment in separate sessions ahead of the return of the Dáil next week and Budget 2017.