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No, I won't be joining Lucinda's new party, says pal McWilliams

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Lucinda Creighton. Photo: Damien Eagers

Lucinda Creighton. Photo: Damien Eagers

Lucinda Creighton. Photo: Damien Eagers

ECONOMIST David Mc-Williams will chair discussions at the Reform Alliance's rally for free as a favour to Lucinda Creighton – but he has no interest of joining the political movement.

His participation in the event in the RDS on January 25 prompted speculation that he would be signing up.

But he said he was only chairing a session because Ms Creighton had helped him out by turning up for a "New Party, New Politics" discussion at the Dalkey Book Festival that he organises.

"I'm a dyed-in-the-wool pro-choice liberal. I'm on the liberal end of liberal," he said.

In contrast, the seven former Fine Gael TDs and senators who make up the Reform Alliance were all opposed to the Government's abortion legislation.

They are also generally supportive of the EU, an institution Mr McWilliams believes is "past its sell-by date".

"I regard the EU as an anachronistic historical idea that is a relic from the 20th Century," he said.

Independent TD Stephen Donnelly, who is a target for the Reform Alliance, told the Herald that he had not made up his mind about attending.

Reform Alliance TDs are paying the cost of hiring the RDS Concert Hall out of their own pocket.

Members of the public are being asked to send in policy ideas of 300 words or less which will be streamed live during the rally, which has been described as a "monster meeting" similar to those held by Daniel O'Connell, but the hall generally holds around 300 to 350 people.

Speaking during his trade mission to the Arabian Gulf, Taoiseach Enda Kenny down-played the significance of the rally.

 

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"It is perfectly normal for everybody to hold meetings in Ireland, and I wish everybody who attends all meetings the very best of luck," he said.

The Reform Alliance has set up a website and will register this week as a third party with the Standards in Public Office Commission so that it can accept donations.

TD Terence Flanagan said it was too soon to say if they would become a political party.

hnews@herald.ie


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