Thursday 17 October 2019

'I haven’t made an impression in three years' - John Leahy stepping down as Renua leader

  • Renua received €735,000 in taxpayer funding – but now doesn’t have a single elected representative
Renua leader John Leahy. Picture: Mark Condren
Renua leader John Leahy. Picture: Mark Condren
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

OFFALY councillor John Leahy is to step down as leader of Renua Ireland, can reveal.

The politician was the party’s only candidate to win a seat in last months local elections.

“The background is that I was a manger over a team that prepared 3 years to for an election and we got nobody elected.

“Do I spent another two or three years at? I haven’t made an impression in three years. Maybe the message I have is not the change that people want,” Mr Leahy said.

He informed a meeting of the party’s executive last night that he intends to return to the independent ranks of Offaly County Council. He has already struck a deal to support Fianna Fáil in his local authority and will be Lea Cathaoirleach for the next 12 months.

The party was founded in 2015 by ex- minister Lucinda Creighton after she left Fine Gael as a result of the party’s stance on abortion.

They failed to get any TDs elected to the Dáil in 2016 – but did secure 2pc of the vote which entitled the party to State funding.

Since then Renua has received more than €735,000 in taxpayer money. It now has no elected represented and it is not clear how a new leader will be selected.

Mr Leahy was the only one of Renua’s 27 candidates to win a seat in the local elections.

He topped the poll in the Birr Municipal District with more than 2,000 first preference votes.

Renua took a particular hardline on crime and was against the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

Mr Leahy said he doesn’t believe the policies were wrong but said it was very difficult to articulate them on a national level.

“I would say people understand Renua in Offaly because I’m in the chamber and covered in the local newspaper. But we needed that at national level. We would have made more strides,” he said.

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