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Independent Revolution

Shane Ross says his new alliance will 'absolutely uproot politics in this country'

Ross and fellow independent Michael Fitzmaurice will be joining forces.

Updated 7.53am 

INDEPENDENT TDS MICHAEL Fitzmaurice and Shane Ross are to join forces and form a political alliance.

The TDs appeared on RTÉ’s Prime Time tonight, discussing how they hope to work together ahead of the next general election.

shane ross 2 Screengrab / Screengrab / /

Ross said the new alliance, which includes several Independent TDs so far, will “absolutely uproot politics in this county” and “change the whole face of the Dáil”.

He said it didn’t matter whether he or Fitzmaurice led the group, nor was it necessary for any of its members to be in Cabinet if elected.

The Dublin South TD said the alliance’s members will have to agree on a non-negotiable “set of principles” but will be largely free in terms of how they can vote on legislation.

m fitz 2 Screengrab / Screengrab / /

Fitzmaurice, who last month said he was interested in launching a new political party, said he was looking forward to working with Ross as he “seems to be a fairly reasonable guy”.

The Northern Ireland crisis was sorted and I’m damn sure that in the interest of the country we can work together.

Fitzmaurice told Prime Time he has spoken to at least 12 people who have agreed to run under the banner of the alliance in the next general election. He said he hopes the group can run at least one candidate in every constituency.

The Roscommon South Leitrim TD said he “doesn’t buy into” ‘Left’ or ‘Right’ politics, adding that the alliance’s priorities will be broad and reflect “the problems of the country”.

Who else is involved?

A number of independent TDs have confirmed they are on board with the alliance – including Stephen Donnelly, Finian McGrath, Mattie McGrath, John Halligan, Noel Grealish and Tom Fleming. Former Fine Gael TD Denis Naughten said he is interested in joining the group “in principle”.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Dublin North deputy Finian McGrath said that behind the scenes talks are going “better than I thought”.

He said he would be prioritising the weaker sections of society and would be open to the idea of an introduction of a third rate of tax. He also said he would have an open mind to any possible coalition deals.

“I would never go into politics saying I would not talk to one group or one party,” he said.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor Christy Burke also previously said he was interested in working with Fitzmaurice, but not necessarily Ross.

Former Labour Minister Pat Rabbitte also appeared on Prime Time and said, in his view, “the more people involved in politics, the better”.

pat Screengrab / Screengrab / /

However, he warned that a move away from the established parties could led to instability after the next election and therefore economic instability.

He said Ross had made a smart move to form an “alliance of the more sensible [Independent TDs]“.

Last week former Fine Gael junior minister Lucinda Creighton confirmed she would be forming a new, as yet-unnamed, political party in the coming weeks.

- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell

Does Shane Ross want to be Taoiseach? His answer might surprise you…

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice wants to start a new political party

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