Lucinda Creighton's Renua Ireland has been dealt a blow as one of their star signings for the general election quit the fledgling party.
Prominent councillor James Charity, who had been named on May 20 to contest Galway West, has reverted to the Independent ranks and is expected to field in the five-seat constituency. He cited the party TDs' failure to ask Dáil questions about a local cemetery extension among reasons for quitting.
Cllr Charity also cited the slow development of party policies on key areas and said he disagreed with Renua's support for the principle of water charges.
Renua supports new funding via charges for a national water service, while also calling for the abolition of Irish Water.
"In my view, the party has adopted a complete U-turn in its position on water charges in an effort to attack the newly developed Social Democrats without thinking through its own position," he said.
A Renua spokesman confirmed the resignation: "We respect James's decision and regret his departure from the party. He's a committed politician and we wish him well for the future."
Cllr Charity, a barrister and farmer, got a big vote as a newcomer to the local elections in May 2014. On May 20, he announced he would stand for Renua, saying Independents needed more cohesion.
Yesterday he said he was led to believe that the party's policies were better developed than they were.