Monday 22 December 2014

Independent TDs turn down invites to Reform Alliance 'Monster Rally'

Fionnan Sheahan Group Political Editor

Published 21/01/2014 | 02:30

Lucinda Creighton. Photo Ray Ryan
Lucinda Creighton. Photo Ray Ryan

LUCINDA Creighton's Reform Alliance has finally invited all TDs and senators to its 'Monster Rally' this weekend.

But the Fine Gael rebel group received rejections from an array of Independents, who said they would not be attending.

The group has registered almost 1,000 members of the public to attend the RDS gathering. Although the group agreed last month to formally invite Oireachtas members from across the board, the invitation only went out yesterday.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath is the only non-Reform Alliance member in Leinster House indicating he will attend.

But his colleagues like Stephen Donnelly, Shane Ross, Finian McGrath, Roisin Shortall, Noel Grealish, John Crown and Katherine Zappone have all said they won't be going.

The event is described in the invitation as a "one-day Open Forum Reform Conference", with the group saying it is hosted by "seven independent Oireachtas members".

The invitation doesn't mention the Reform Alliance, apart from in the website address.

The note says the conference will address "three critical areas of national concern", namely the direction and reform of politics, healthcare and the economy.

"The aim of this Conference is to encourage and generate new ideas and new thinking in these critical areas for the future of Ireland.

"The event will provide an opportunity to hear and listen to fresh thinking and ideas, initially from the independent expert panellists and also, importantly, from members of the public when the discussion opens up to the floor.

"It is intended that some of these ideas will inform future policy," the invitation says.

The invitation is signed with "warm wishes and best regards" by the seven former Fine Gael TDs and senators - Ms Creighton, Terence Flanagan, Peter Mathews, Denis Naughten, Billy Timmins, Paul Bradford and Fidelma Healy Eames.

The invitation was emailed by Mr Timmins yesterday.

Irish Independent

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