Renua to offer €65k salary in search to replace Creighton
Published 16/08/2016 | 02:30
Renua Ireland is to publicly advertise for the position of a new leader, offering a salary of €65,000.
The party founded by the ex-Fine Gael minister Lucinda Creighton has been in limbo since failing to win any seats in February's General Election.
However, the Irish Independent has learned that it is now to cast the net out in the search for a new leader ahead of its AGM on September 3.
Advertisements will be published as early as this week, seeking applications from politicians interested in the position.
Sources have indicated that the job will come with a salary of around €65,000 on the basis that the person will work on a full-time basis to rebuild the party nationally.
Renua 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 - something that it could not access before the election.
Ms Creighton, who was European Affairs Minister between 2011 and 2013, left the party in the wake of the result and has since set up Vulcan Consulting.
She now advises clients in relation on a range of economic and political issues, with particular focus on the pharmaceutical, technology, aviation, telecommunications and financial services sectors.
A source said: "People have been wondering what would happen after Lucinda and there will be movement soon.
"A decision has been taken to try again but the first hurdle to overcome will be selecting a new leader."
It is understood that a process is being put in motion with the aim of a person being officially ratified as the new leader at the AGM.
Favourite for the position will be Offaly councillor John Leahy, who was present at the top table alongside Ms Creighton and financial guru Eddie Hobbs when the party was launched in March 2015.
Renua's rules stipulate that the leader must be an elected representative, meaning that applications for the job will be limited to councillors, senators and TDs.
Sources said members were keen for the party to get a makeover and shake off what many saw as "too radical" an outlook ahead of the last election. Included in the party's policies was a flat tax, a three-strikes approach to sentencing and the abolition of motor tax and the TV licence.
A source said: "Policies aside, the first job for the leader will be to build teams in every constituency and find candidates."