Aontú to field candidates in UK election
Peadar Tóibín, leader of the new political party Aontú, has confirmed it will contest up to five seats in the North in the expected upcoming Westminster elections.
Mr Tóibín, who launched the new party last January after a split from Sinn Féin, also said that, if successful, the candidates will not take their seats in the London parliament.
But he said they would seek ways to contribute to either the Dáil or Seanad and also work for a new all-Ireland political forum to map a way forward for the country.
The Meath West TD said no final decisions had been reached about where it would contest or who its candidates would be. But he said discussions were under way about fielding Dr Anne McCloskey in the Derry constituency of Foyle, where she already holds a council seat.
He said they were looking at the prospect of contesting Fermanagh-South Tyrone, where Cllr Denise Mullan might stand. Other constituencies in Newry-Armagh, West Belfast and Mid-Ulster were also under consideration.
Mr Tóibín defended adhering to the policy of abstention, like his former colleagues in Sinn Féin.
"I believe nationalist voters in the North do not want their politicians to take their seats in London. But we will work on other ways of making our voices heard at Leinster House and elsewhere," he said.
The Aontú leader said Sinn Féin and the SDLP had already backed the idea of New Ireland Forum which in 1983-84 gathered all nationalist parties in Ireland.