Friday 19 January 2018

Like Tony Gregory, I'm independent - mayor

Niall O'Connor

By Niall O'Connor

Dublin's Lord Mayor Christy Burke has said he believes the public have lost their appetite for the immediate formation of a new political party.

Mr Burke last night warned of the importance of independent politicians remaining outside of the party structure as he ruled himself out of joining a new independent alliance.

He said the alliance, which is being formed by TDs such as Shane Ross and Michael McGrath, is appealing to those on the "left, the right and in the middle".

Mr Burke said he has been dissuaded from joining the group by members of the public who called on him to remain an independent candidate.

"People said to me 'Tony Gregory was an independent and would not have considered joining a party'," he said.

"The public do not want a load of new parties, perhaps there was the notion they did but I believe that is now gone."

Mr Burke previously held talks with Michael Fitzmaurice, a TD for Roscommon/South Leitrim, about joining the new alliance.

However, he said he will consider standing as an independent in the general election.

If Mr Burke decides to run, unofficial polling by a local group in his constituency suggests he would be in line to take a seat.

The survey reveals that Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald will easily top the poll in the three-seater.

Sources in both Fine Gael and Labour concede to the poll's indication that Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe and Labour backbencher Joe Costello are at risk losing their seats.


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