Irish Republican News · January 3, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Low-profile launch for new political party


An announcement by former Fine Gael leadership figure Lucinda Creighton that she is going ahead with efforts to form a new right-wing political organisation has been criticised by Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams who said that another conservative political party is “the last thing” that Ireland needs.

Ms Creighton was one of seven Fine Gael TDs and senators who voted against the Government in 2013 on controversial abortion legislation. She was joined at the press conference this Friday by television personality Eddie Hobbs.

Eighteen months after she left the Fine Gael parliamentary party, and despite saying at the time she was “Fine Gael to her core”, she officially unveiled her plans to start a new party that will compete directly against Fine Gael at the next election.

Ms Creighton said: “We will not live or die by opinion polls. Politicians (and) political parties live or die by the will of the people and we will live or die by the will of the people at the next (General) Election... I can’t predict that.

“It would be foolish to pretend I can predict how many seats our new political party can or will win at the next election.”

The party to be launched later in the spring does not yet have a name, but its website says it will “champion human inventiveness”, and called for a “minimum lifestyle standard”. The party was launched online under the temporary title ‘Reboot Ireland’.

Its members will not be under a party whip for votes on “matters of conscience” such as same-sex marriage and abortion. It also aims, in its own words, to “make the public sector public”.

The involvement of economic commentator Eddie Hobbs gave the launch a pro-business slant on Friday, while independent Offaly councillor John Leahy was also present to pitch the new organisation to potential rural voters.

Deputy Creighton said she planned a series of meetings around the country in the coming weeks.

“I am here because I believe Irish people deserve a genuine choice at the next election. It is my intention to provide that choice,” she said.

“Since last April I have been working with an ever expanding group of highly motivated professional volunteers - so that we can radically change how we run this country.”

Four principles on which the new party is to be founded were announced at the Marker Hotel in Dublin. They include a promise for political reform, a pro-enterprise stance and a promise to “give politics back to the people”.

Ms Creighton added: “We want to ‘reboot Ireland’ and we want those who are as passionate about this country as we are to join us on this mission.”

Hobbs said he had signed up because he felt let down by traditional parties.

He said: “The traditional parties have failed to grasp that the democratic revolution of the last general election was not an event but a process and are now being deserted in droves by people searching for a new way ahead - and that includes me, a father of four children, someone working, contributing and running small businesses here since I was sixteen - that’s 36 years ago.”

But Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said economic and political conservatism had been at the root of all Ireland’s recent difficulties.

“While I wish Lucinda Creighton and her colleagues well for the future, I also believe that the last thing that Ireland needs is yet another conservative political party.

“There is little in the background, outlook or policies of Lucinda Creighton or those aligned with her that offers the type of political change that citizens now seek,” he said.

“Irish society faces a choice between a continuation of the failed politics of conservatism or a genuine republican alternative that offers the prospect of radical political change.”

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