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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 26 January, 2020
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EU referendum would be a "good idea" says would-be political party

The National Independent Party, launched today, will open its first constituency office later this week.

NIP spokesperson Martin Critten (right) at the launch today
NIP spokesperson Martin Critten (right) at the launch today
Image: Nicky Ryan

A NEW POLITICAL group which aims to “create a platform to give Ireland a voice” held its first press conference today in Buswells Hotel.

The National Independent Party (NIP),  formed from the Slí Níos Fearr group, are opening their first constituency office in Limerick this week and plans to field as many candidates as they “physically can” in next year’s local elections.

However, before they can register as a political party, they must first meet the requirements of having a sitting TD or 300 members, and for local elections three councillors or 100 members.

The group is currently in the process of transferring membership from Slí Níos Fearr to the new party, and have been canvassing door to door in Limerick city.

Among the NIP’s main values, they list plans to reform the whip system to allow politicians to “work by consensus”, and to work across traditional party boundaries to allow a “course of action [which] would serve the people’s needs”.

Martin Critten, the group’s spokesperson whose 123-mile walk from Limerick to Dublin was reported on by TheJournal.ie, said that his party aims to end the culture of “ivory towers” in the European Union and reaffirm Ireland’s position within the Union.

Responding to questions on whether or not the party would hold a referendum on EU membership, Critten said that he believes “any referendum is a good idea”.

“Europe, and our relationship with Europe, is causing us problems” Critten said, adding they are wary of the EU becoming like the USSR, where peripheral countries were left to “stagnate”.

Critten also said that the party’s funding comes from “ordinary people”, and not from any corporate body.

The NIP have yet to publish their manifesto or their plans on how to restructure the economy.

Its steering committee currently consists of, among others, a mathematician, a nurse, and an expert in business ethics, and said they are not “professional politicians by any stretch of the imagination, but just very concerned citizens”.

MORE: What would you do to change Ireland? >

Column: To bring about any change, we must redefine what we expect from our politicians >

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Nicky Ryan

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