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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 25 November 2020
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Man to walk from Limerick to Dublin hoping to form new political party

Martin Critten says he wants people to join him in creating a new political party and a new manifesto that will be formed by the input of ordinary people.

On the march: Martin Critten plans to walk from Limerick to Dublin over the coming days
On the march: Martin Critten plans to walk from Limerick to Dublin over the coming days

AN ENGLISH MAN who has lived in Ireland for the past nine years is setting off on a walk from Limerick to Dublin today in the hope of forming a new political party along the way.

Martin Critten, 54, says he is fed up with political parties “foisting their agenda” on the people of Ireland, an agenda which he says suits the “speculators, bondholders and European banks”.

Based in Co Clare, the part-time consultant says that he plans to set off from Limerick County Council offices at 10.45am this morning and walk to Dublin over the next few days.

He will stop at towns and villages along the way in order to try and recruit “like minded people who are passionate enough to stand up to the challenge of forming a new party”.

“It’s really to give people an opportunity and an idea that there is hope out there. We can change things together,” Critten, who is originally from the north of England, said.

His website Sli Nios Fearr invites visitors to submit their ideas in order to help build a manifesto. Speaking to TheJournal.ie this week he said that he wanted to create a manifesto from ordinary people’s input.

“We’re asking for five of your most prominent reforms and we will build a manifesto around what the people want to do,” he said. “At the moment we’re totally visionless. So we have to develop our own vision, not one that’s coming from Europe.”

“When I am wandering through the villages of the midlands, I am sure to find a good crowd of people to debate the issues and join in as well.”

Critten said that he does not have a left or right wing agenda but rather sees the current crisis in Ireland being a result of people being forced to pay taxes that they can not afford and the government handing over money to unsecured bondholders.

‘Immorality of household charge’

He said the household charge had helped to galvanise people who “saw the immorality” of it. He continued: “I would favour higher income taxes that are looked at in terms of national emergency. We are in extraordinary times, we have to be astute about this thing.

“What we’re dealing with is not any old recession. It’s not a recession like any other that’s been before.”

Critten believes that the upcoming Fiscal Compact referendum should be scrapped and that Ireland should go back to Europe to seek a better deal.

“The treaty sounds good but the actual targets they’re setting are not what’s reasonable. France has run deficits for the past 60 years, Germany has been all over the shop and has only just found stability,” he said.

Critten also believes that there needs to be accountability for what he thinks are the broken promises of government and that political parties should be more accountable for their manifestos.

“As a starting point we really need a citizens’ charter to make sure we don’t have the sort of electoral promises that we got from Fine Gael without some form of financial penalty or accountability for what they end up doing,” he continued.

Critten says that he hopes to reach Dublin by 18 May, walking to Dublin in 20 mile sections while stopping off along the way. Once he reaches the capital he hopes to engage with various interest groups there.

Critten’s full route includes heading out from Limerick on the N7 route to Dublin via Birdhill, and Nenagh.

Along the way he plans to visit Toomyvara, Moneygall, Dunkerrin, Roscrea, Borris in Ossory, Castletown, Castletown, Mounthrath, Portlaoise, New Inn, Ballybrittas, Monastereven, Kildare, Newbridge, Sallins, Clane, Cebridge, and Lucan before reaching the city centre.

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Hugh O'Connell

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