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Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice wants to start a new political party

He says middle Ireland is being ignored.

Updated 8.15am

INDEPENDENT TD MICHAEL Fitzmaurice plans to start a new political party.

The Roscommon-South Leitrim TD was elected to the Dáil last October and said that his time in Leinster House has taught him that “we have to start doing things a bit differently”.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie yesterday, the 55-year-old farmer said: “First of all there would be no whip system. It’s destroying Irish politics.”

He said things need to change politically in Ireland and that “If you don’t start doing things a bit different – democracy is in trouble.”

This morning, speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said of the party whip that they “shouldn’t have big wand hanging over you, like a gun to your head”.

He added that the political situation as it stands at the moment is like a “Punch and Judy Show”.

Fitzmaurice plans on running 25 candidates in the next election. He said that he has spoken to 25 or 30 “like-minded people” about forming a political alliance.

He would not confirm if he had spoken to TD Shane Ross, but said that he will be speaking to other TDs about his plans. Last week, Ross told this website that he had spoken to Fitzmaurice about forming an alliance of independents.

Middle Ireland

Fitzmaurice said “middle Ireland has been forgotten about”.

Every morning there’s thousands of people in the country waking up to get children ready for school before they start a big commute for a hard day’s work. They’re rushing and racing all day and they’re under pressure. Nobody seems to give a damn about them but they’re the heartbeat of this country.”

“A lot of people are so disgusted by what has gone on in Ireland that the pride is starting to go and we need to get that pride back because Irish people are proud of their country.”

Europe

Speaking about Ireland’s position in Europe, the TD said, “Ireland needs to watch itself with the way we’re being treated in Europe.

It’s more important now to appease Angela Merkel or whoever it is than to help your own neighbour.

The government have to go to the polls by spring 2016 at the latest, but there’s speculation that a general election could be called as early as next year.

First published 14 December 2014 at 10.30am

- additional reporting from Christina Finn 

Read: ‘People have been fairly sound’: What Michael Fitzmaurice learned on his first week in the Dáil>

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