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Sunday Independent columnist leaves paper to work for Renua

John Drennan will be the new party’s director of communications and political strategy.

Drennan pictured in Washington DC in 2011.
Drennan pictured in Washington DC in 2011.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Updated: 14.34

AFTER ALMOST TWO decades as a columnist with the Sunday Independent, John Drennan is leaving journalism behind to become Renua Ireland’s director of communications and political strategy.

Drennan finished with the paper on Friday with immediate effect. He gave back his Dáil press gallery pass this morning.

Renua – which is led by former Fine Gael junior minister Lucinda Creighton – confirmed the news to TheJournal.ie, saying it will be formally announced later.

Drennan, who is a former political editor with the paper, said he decided to take up the new role as he thinks Renua “has the potential to bring real change to Irish politics”.

He said the Fine Gael Labour coalition has “tried manfully” to bring about reform in Irish politics, but added: “As the old saying goes: ‘A lot done, a lot more to do.’”

When asked if he will miss journalism, Drennan said: “Of course I will. I left the Sindo in happy circumstances.”

He worked with the paper as a political journalist for 19 years.

Drennan said Fine Gael approached him to get involved with the party years ago, but added that no parties bar Renua have done so in recent years.

He said he’s “absolutely” looking forward to the challenge and is optimistic about the next general election:

If Renua puts a compelling case to the country it will make gains.

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In a statement released this afternoon, Drennan expressed his thanks for the “trust and responsibility conveyed by this new role in building a new politics where government will serve the interests of the citizens rather than the embedded state’’.

He also thanked Independent News and Media for his ‘‘always interesting, always varied, always challenging career’’.

Creighton said she is “delighted to have such an experienced and smart person working with Renua”, adding: “I am looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

- Additional reporting by Hugh O’Connell

Originally published: 13.34

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