Renua

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Renua Ireland
Leader John Leahy[1]
Chairperson Michael O'Dowd[1]
Founder Lucinda Creighton
Founded 13 March 2015
Split from Fine Gael
Ideology Social conservatism[2]
Economic liberalism[3]
Political position Centre-right[4][5] to
right-wing[6]
Colours      Yellow[7]
Dáil Éireann
0 / 158
Seanad Éireann
0 / 60
Local government
2 / 949
Website
www.renuaireland.com

Renua Ireland, commonly called Renua, is a political party in Ireland. The party was launched on 13 March 2015, with former Fine Gael TD Lucinda Creighton as founding leader.[8] Prior to its launch it had used the slogan Reboot Ireland. The name Renua is intended to suggest both the English Renew and the Irish Ré Nua "New Era".[9] Following the vacancy created by Creighton's resignation after the 2016 general election, John Leahy was selected as leader at the party's AGM in September 2016.

History[edit]

Reform Alliance[edit]

After the 2011 general election a Fine GaelLabour coalition government was formed. Lucinda Creighton of Fine Gael was appointed Minister of State for European Affairs. In 2013 Creighton defied the party whip on anti-abortion grounds to oppose the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. Creighton and others were as a consequence expelled from the Fine Gael parliamentary party; they formed a loose alliance called the Reform Alliance. Some TDs continued as ordinary members of Fine Gael, while others left the party completely.

Reboot Ireland[edit]

The forthcoming launch of a new political party was announced at a press conference on 2 January 2015 held by Creighton, Eddie Hobbs, a financial advisor and broadcaster, and John Leahy, an independent member of Offaly County Council.[10] Shane Ross, an independent who had concurrently proposed a new alliance of independents, said he would not be involved in the new party,[10] which was given a temporary name of Reboot Ireland.[citation needed]

Foundation of Renua Ireland[edit]

The new party was launched on Friday 13 March 2015 in Dublin, followed by media appearances by its leading members.[11] Creighton and party president Eddie Hobbs appeared on RTÉ's The Late Late Show to explain their policies. Hobbs denied he was planning to stand for election, although the party's website claimed that he would be a candidate.[12]

Its elected representatives on its foundation were TDs Lucinda Creighton, Billy Timmins and Terence Flanagan, Senators Paul Bradford and Mary Ann O'Brien, and Councillors John Leahy (Offaly) and Ronan McMahon. O'Brien, a Taoiseach's nominee to the Seanad, stated that she would not join the party until the general election campaign.[13][14] Financial advisor Eddie Hobbs was announced as party president, and later announced that he would not stand for election.[15][16]

Later recruits included councillors Patrick McKee (Kilkenny, elected for Fianna Fáil),[17] James Charity (Galway, elected as an Independent), Frank Durkan (Mayo, elected as an Independent),[18] and Keith Redmond (Fingal, elected for Fine Gael).[19] Charity, who had joined on 20 May 2015, left Renua on 30 July.[20] Journalist John Drennan joined as the party's director of communications and political strategy.[21]

On 22 May 2015 the first Renua Ireland candidate to face election was Patrick McKee in the Carlow–Kilkenny by-election.[22][23] He finished fourth, with 9.5% of the first-preference vote.[24][25]

Although the Irish abortion debate was what precipitated Creighton's defection from Fine Gael, the party initially stated that it was not taking a position on the issue and would allow members a free vote,[26] before later stating under Leahy's leadership that it was a pro-life party that will ask all representatives to oppose a repeal of the Eighth Amendment, which places the life of the unborn on an equal footing to the life of the mother.[27] After the passing of the abortion referendum, Renua stated it would support Vardakar's promise to keep abortion "safe, legal and RARE".[28]

2016 general election[edit]

The party had hoped to run between 50 and 60 candidates in the 2016 general election, with at least one in each Dáil constituency.[29][30]

In January 2016, Renua announced a list of 18 candidates and published a manifesto.[31][32] The main points of the manifesto included a flat personal tax rate of 23%,[33] and a three-strikes law which would require mandatory life sentences on a third conviction for serious crimes.[34] The flat tax rate was criticised by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and described by Labour's Kevin Humphreys as "too right-wing for Donald Trump".[33]

At close of nominations, 26 candidates were standing for the party at the 2016 general election.[35]

At the 2016 general election, incumbent TDs Billy Timmins, Terence Flanagan, and party leader Lucinda Creighton all lost their seats, leaving Renua with no representation in the Dáil.[36] Nevertheless, the party won over 2% of first-preference votes, which means that it will be entitled to a quarter of a million euro of annual state funding for the duration of the next government.[37] Following the defeat, Creighton insisted that Renua would continue and would field candidates for the next local elections in 2019.[38]

Aftermath[edit]

On 14 May 2016, in the aftermath of the general election and following the formation of the new government, Creighton resigned as leader of Renua.[39] Deputy Leader Billy Timmins had already resigned,[40] and president Eddie Hobbs resigned from the party in June.[41]

At the party's AGM in September 2016, John Leahy, an Offaly County Councillor, was selected as party leader, and businesswoman Mailo Power was elected as party president.[42] In November 2016, Power resigned from the position of party president and from the party. By December 2016, Councillors Patrick McKee and Keith Redmond had both resigned from the party, leaving its leader, John Leahy, and Ronan McMahon, a councillor in South Dublin County Council, as its only elected representatives.

At the parties 2nd AGM held in Tullamore in November 2017, Leahy said the party was "ready to field 17 candidates" in any general election triggered by the imminent Dáil motion of no confidence in Frances Fitzgerald.[43] The 2017 AGM was addressed by John Waters.[44]

Policies[edit]

Renua has a policy programme published in addition to its election manifesto of 2016.[45] It claims policies are centred around an evidence-based approach regardless of where that policy may be viewed ideologically. It cites proposals for State-funded community childcare schemes, capping state pensions at €100,000, and replacing defined-benefit pensions with defined-contribution pensions as examples.[46]

The party has stated that "we would be strongly against further integration of the EU, particularly with relation to taxation or military affairs, and believe strongly that the EU works best when member countries are recognised fully as sovereign countries coming voluntarily together to promote economic cooperation rather than as a stepping stone to a federal Europe."[47]

Election results[edit]

Dáil Éireann[edit]

Election Seats won ± Position First Pref votes % Government Leader
2016
0 / 158
Decrease 3 9th 46,552 2.2% No seats Lucinda Creighton

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Renua Ireland (2016-09-04). "Video: Cllr John Leahy, Party Leader, Renua Ireland". Retrieved 2016-09-05. 
  2. ^ Sarah Bardon (2017-03-30). "Renua Ireland to identify as anti-abortion party". Irishtimes.com. Retrieved 2018-04-09. 
  3. ^ Renua Ireland to identify as anti-abortion party. The Irish Times. Published 30 March 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  4. ^ Eoin O'Malley (2016-01-13). "Ireland's 'new normal' politics". Policy Network. Retrieved 2018-04-09. 
  5. ^ ""Renua was branded as 'Fine Gael Lite' - we are a centralist party"". Thejournal.ie. 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2018-04-09. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Bardon, Sarah (20 October 2015). "Renua first to unveil election posters – with familiar slogan". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  8. ^ Downing, John (13 March 2015). "Revealed: Lucinda's new party is called Renua Ireland -". Irish Independent. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  9. ^ McGee, Harry (13 March 2015). "Renua: the making of a political party". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  10. ^ a b O'Regan, Mark (2 January 2015). "Reboot Ireland: Eddie Hobbs on board for Lucinda's new party". Irish Independent. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Harry McGee (13 March 2015). "Renua Ireland's Terence Flanagan has 'mental blank' on radio". Irish Times. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Jason Kennedy; Denise Calnan; Sam Griffin (13 March 2015). "Renua Ireland's eventful first day". Irish Independent. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "A Renua senator? Me? I'm not even a member!". Irish Daily Mail. 14 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Kildare Senator To Join Renua Ireland". Kfm. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "People". Renua Ireland. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  16. ^ McGee, Harry (16 March 2015). "Eddie Hobbs under no pressure to stand for Renua in election". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  17. ^ O'Connell, Hugh (31 March 2015). "'I never said that': Renua's latest recruit denies trying to join Sinn Féin". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  18. ^ Durcan joins Renua ranks by Edwin McGreal and Ciara Galvin, Mayo News, 28 July 2015.
  19. ^ O'Connell, Hugh (8 October 2015). "Defection: Renua captures FG councillor because of 'nanny state tendencies'". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  20. ^ Downing, John (30 July 2015). "Charity leaves Renua 10 weeks after joining". Irish Independent. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  21. ^ Kelly, Fiach (5 May 2015). "Journalist leaves 'Sunday Independent' to join Renua Ireland". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "Creighton poaches Fianna Fáil councillor for byelection". The Irish Times. 30 March 2015. 
  23. ^ "Defection: Renua poaches Fianna Fáil councillor for by-election". The Journal. 30 March 2015. 
  24. ^ "Carlow-Kilkenny By-Election 2015". RTÉ.ie. 23 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  25. ^ Ó Cionnaith, Fiachra. "Carlow-Kilkenny byelection: Bobby Aylward wins for Fianna Fail". Irish Examiner. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  26. ^ Murphy, Sue (13 March 2015). "Lucinda Creighton officially launches her new political party, Renua Ireland -". Newstalk. Retrieved 4 January 2016. we will be the only political party in Ireland and across Europe that has an open party position on Abortion... we do not believe party politics in Ireland has a place for issues of conscience 
  27. ^ Bardon, Sarah (30 March 2017). "Renua Ireland to identify as anti-abortion party". The Irish Times. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  28. ^ "RENUA IRELAND on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  29. ^ "Lucinda Creighton's new party to run 50 or 60 candidates". The Herald. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  30. ^ Downing, John (20 April 2015). "Renua targets tally of 10 TDs and a government role". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  31. ^ "Renua Ireland to field 18 election candidates". RTÉ News. RTÉ.ie. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  32. ^ McConnell, Daniel (4 January 2016). "Renua to field 18 candidates in General Election, and would abolish €100 water grant". BreakingNews.ie. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  33. ^ a b Doyle, Kevin (6 October 2015). "Renua defends tax plan 'too radical for Trump'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  34. ^ Kelly, Fiach (4 January 2016). "Renua to outline 'red line' coalition issues ahead of election". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  35. ^ "List of General Election 2016 Candidates". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. 
  36. ^ "Election wipeout for Renua while Social Democrats rise". 28 February 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016. 
  37. ^ "Spin doctor John Drennan quits Renua after election failure". Thejournal.ie. 2016-03-29. Retrieved 2018-04-09. 
  38. ^ Mary Minihan (29 February 2016). "Former TD Lucinda Creighton says finding a new job the priority". Irish Times. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  39. ^ Ryan, Philip (14 May 2015). "Lucinda Creighton steps down as leader of Renua Ireland". Irish Independent. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  40. ^ Timmins, Billy (1 May 2016). "We're all to blame for disastrous Renua election campaign". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  41. ^ Niall O;Connor (2016-06-13). "Eddie Hobbs quits Renua - future of the party now in serious doubt". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2016-06-13. 
  42. ^ "New Renua chief hopes to have candidates in place by Christmas". Irish Times. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  43. ^ "Renua Ireland ready to field 17 candidates if General Election is called". BreakingNews.ie. 25 November 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017. 
  44. ^ Renua AGM in Tullamore The Offaly Independent, November 23, 2017.
  45. ^ "Renua - Pre-Budget Submission" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-12-31. Retrieved 6 Sep 2016. 
  46. ^ "Renua - 2016 Manifesto" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-04-23. Retrieved 6 Sep 2016. 
  47. ^ "Policies". Renua Ireland. Retrieved 2018-04-09. 

External links[edit]