The Labour leader acknowledged that "we made mistakes, we know that"
The Labour leader is appealing to voters to 'listen again' to his party.
Brendan Howlin is holding his first gathering of elected representatives since the disastrous performance in the election earlier this year.
The party went from 33 TDs before the election to just seven in the new Dáil.
Deputy Howlin says rebuilding the party will mean new policies and a hope the electorate will give them another chance.
"A lot of people weren't listening to us - they made up their minds," he observed. "There was almost a view formed by people [that] 'you broke your promise, or you let us down, or you did something' without actually crystallising what exactly it was.
"That was because people were hurting after five, six, seven years of austerity," he argued.
The party leader also spoke to Newstalk Drive this evening.
On the subject of their election result, he said: "We went through the most difficult period for any government in the history of the State, and at the end of it we'd hoped for better. We lost a lot of very fine public representatives."
Discussing the party's future, he explained: "Our aim is very simple now - to reconnect with those working people who want a better future for themselves, who want a fairer society.
"[Labour has] made mistakes, we know that. We over-promised in advance of the last election. Bluntly, a lot of people weren't listening to us when it came to the election. So really progressive policies on areas like childcare [...] weren't heard in the last election."