'A remarkable journey...' - Lucinda Creighton steps down as leader of Renua Ireland
LUCINDA Creighton has stepped down as leader of Renua Ireland.
Ms Creighton said setting up a political party was a “remarkable journey” that did not end the way she planned.
The former Fine Gael minister failed to return any candidates in the General Election despite entering the election with three TDs and a senator.
She paid tribute to her party members and especially praised Offaly County Councillor John Leahy who she said showed “qualities of leadership that our country is crying out for”.
“I am extremely grateful for those who made it possible, and the supporters and members across the country who shared in our common ideals,” she said.
“It's time for me to move on from leading RENUA Ireland and allow new voices to be heard.
I leave my role as party leader perhaps more humbled, but no less proud of all that we have achieved together and what can be accomplished in the future,” she added.
She acknowledged that the party made a number of key mistakes in the general election campaign.
"Flat Tax while innovative and not without merit, never captured the public imagination. It was wrongly depicted as a policy for the rich, and a punishment for the poor.
"Nothing could have been further from the truth, but I as leader have to take responsibility for our failure in persuading the Irish people of its merits.
"Everyone in RENUA Ireland shared the goal of making work pay but we should, and could have presented our tax policy in a way that was not seen to divide society but instead reward it. That is what we intended but we failed to do it, and RENUA Ireland must learn from this mistake in the future.
"Despite our best efforts, we failed to shine a light on the different faces of RENUA Ireland, the Irish people never got an opportunity to see or hear John Leahy, Paddy McKee, Ronan McMahon or some of the many bright talented candidates who were standing for office for the first time. This is the rough and tumble of trying to start a new political party, but we could, and should have done better so a larger story of RENUA could have been told."