Wednesday 21 November 2018

Reboot Ireland: Eddie Hobbs on board for Lucinda's new party

Mark O'Regan

THE new political party announced by Lucinda Creighton will field at least one candidate in every constituency in the next general election.

The party will be officially launched in the spring, following a nationwide tour by Deputy Creighton, when she will host a series of public meetings.

Lucinda Creighton at the Marker Hotel this morning. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Lucinda Creighton at the Marker Hotel this morning. Photo: Doug O'Connor

Well known financial advisor and television pundit, Eddie Hobbs, is the first big name personality who has has joined the new party.

Deputy Creighton provided an initial outline of what will be its guiding principles at a press conference in Dublin's Marker Hotel.

She said it will be part of a process to "reboot Ireland".

"We want to give people the choice on every ballot paper in the country," she said.

Eddie Hobbs refused to rule out putting his own name forward as a candidate in the next election.

No other nationally known names who may be involved in the new party were announced at today's press conference.

"The identities of the other founding members will emerge in due course and the party is happy to speak to anyone who may wish to get involved,'' said Deputy Creighton.

She was flanked by Mr Hobbs and Independent Offaly councillor John Leahy who was first elected in 2009, and who is also the county's GAA Coaching and Games Promotion Officer.

Planning for the new organisation has been under way since last April, and more than 100 people have been working in a voluntary capacity, in areas such as policy, research, IT, communications and party structure, it was claimed.

No name has yet been decided for the party which will be guided by a four point strategy plan.

Speaking on the forthcoming gay marriage referendum, Deputy Creighton said there are a "variety of views" within the party which she described as "healthy".

"I think it's important that people have the freedom to adopt their own positions," she added.

"One of the major problems with the political establishment is that there is no independent thought.

"Not only is it not encouraged or welcomed, it's actively stifled.

"We will do the opposite. We will encourage people to know their own mind and take positions."

Ms Creighton said the new organisation will "radically change" how the country is run.

She insisted the "sky's the limit" in terms of what the party can achieve because the political landscape has "changed entirely."

Mrs Creighton said the party will comprise of independent politicians "from all hues and all walks of life."

"Our door is open. We want to encourage people within the political system, but most importantly from outside the political system.

"We need new thinking, we need fresh thinking. We need people who are not part of the old establishment to come forward."

"I am here because I believe Irish people deserve a genuine choice at the next election.  It is my intention to provide that choice.

"Since last April I have been working with an ever expanding group of highly motivated professional volunteers - so that we can radically change how we run this country.  We want a Government that serves the people."

The Dublin South East TD, and former Minister of State for European Affairs, was one of seven Fine Gael TDs and Senators who voted against the Government in 2013 on controversial abortion legislation.

Eddie Hobbs said he had signed up because he felt let down by traditional parties.

"The traditional parties have failed to grasp that the democratic revolution of the last general election was not an event but a process and are now being deserted in droves by people searching for a new way ahead."

He added: ''That includes me, a father of four children, someone working, contributing and running small businesses here since I was sixteen - that's 36 years ago."

Meanwhile, John Leahy said he wanted to tackle the demise of rural Ireland which he said is "unfolding before our very eyes."

"A modern Ireland should be proud of its rural traditions,'' he added.

''We will act on the issue of rural demise in a focused and determined manner."

The four founding principles underpinning the new party are:

1. Building An Economy for Entrepreneurs across the social, private and public sectors 2. Make the Public Sector Public 3. Giving Politics back to the People 4. Measuring Government with a clear Social Target

The party has launched a website rebootireland.com and a hashtag rebootireland.

Independent TD Shane Ross has said "No, I won't be getting on board" when asked if he will be joining the new party.

Meanwhile, a report carried earlier that mentioned musician Jim Corr was supporting the 'Reboot Ireland' group has been dismissed as it was based on a parody Twitter account.

Online Editors

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