Councillor Leahy to become leader of Renua
Published 27/08/2016 | 02:30
Offaly councillor John Leahy is set to be the new leader of Renua Ireland.
The deadline for applications for the €65,000 position closed at 10pm last night with sources telling the Irish Independent Mr Leahy was the only applicant.
Officials had opened up the process to politicians outside of Renua but none applied.
"No existing members apart from Mr Leahy applied, so it is expected that his nomination will be ratified at a meeting on September 3," said a source.
The party expects about 100 people to attend an AGM on that date in the Red Cow Hotel.
Mr Leahy has represented the Ferbane Electoral Area since June 2009. He finished fifth in the three-seat Offaly constituency in February with just over 4,500 votes.
He appeared alongside Ms Creighton and financial guru Eddie Hobbs when they launched the party in 2015 and was seen as their effort to show that Renua could appeal to urban and rural voters.
It is expected Mr Leahy will leave his position as Offaly GAA coaching and games promotion officer to take up the leadership role full-time.
A source said: "If this is going to be a serious effort to get the party off the ground, then the leader will have to start building in every constituency."
The party went into the election campaign with four Oireachtas members - Ms Creighton, Billy Timmins, Terence Flanagan and Paul Bradford - but failed to secure any Dáil seats.However, it did win over 2pc of the national vote, meaning that it qualifies for State funding.
It is understood the remaining party members will seek to give their policy portfolio a "makeover" in the wake of the poor election performance.