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Mattie McGrath would consider joining Reform Alliance, Creighton says they'll work with anyone

“I am prepared to consider anything,” the Tipperary South TD told TheJournal.ie today.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath (right) outside Leinster House
Independent TD Mattie McGrath (right) outside Leinster House
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

INDEPENDENT TD MATTIE McGrath has said he would consider joining the Reform Alliance as he prepares to attend its conference in Dublin this weekend.

McGrath is the only TD, outside of the RA members, to so far confirm that he intends to go to the Reform Conference in the RDS on Saturday, saying he hopes “there’ll be some new thinking” at the event.

Despite the RA inviting all members of the Oireachtas to the event, several have publicly stated they will not be going, including high-profile independents Shane Ross, Stephen Donnelly and John Crown, in what is perceived as a blow to the new movement.

However its members have been at pains to say is not a prelude to a full-fledged political party and one member has shrugged off the non-attendance of deputies and senators.

McGrath, a TD for Tipperary South, criticised the “abject failure of the government” and told TheJournal.ie today: “People are craving for some new thinking, some new politics,”

‘Prepared to consider anything’

The alliance consists of five Fine Gael TDs and two senators, most of whom lost the party whip over their vote against abortion legislation last July, and McGrath, who also opposed the abortion bill, said he would “of course” consider joining the alliance.

“I am prepared to consider anything. It could be filled by anarchy if someone doesn’t take leadership,” he said adding that he admired “the courage” of Lucinda Creighton in the stance she took on the Protection of Life during Pregnacny Bill.

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Creighton said that although the RA is “not recruiting at the moment” it would be open to working with anyone. She also said that she is “not disappointed at all” by several TDs and senators openly declining invitations to the conference.

“They can come if they like, or not. It’s really up to them. We’re being open and inclusive,” she said.

The conference will focus on three “key areas of reform” – political reform, the economy and health – and is expected to hear from broadcaster Tom McGurk, economist David McWilliams, and journalist Olivia O’Leary.

Phillip Blond, an English political philosopher who has previously advised prime minister David Cameron, is also due to attend.

Read: Creighton and Timmins insist Reform Alliance conference not prelude to political party

Read: ‘Everybody will be invited’: Reform Alliance to hold conference at the RDS this month

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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