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Shane Ross Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Independent alliance

Shane Ross won't be specific but wants to 'look after women'...

… and do loads of other stuff, like revive rural Ireland.

SHANE ROSS HAS said an alliance of independents TDs would support the government in motions of confidence in return for delivering on a number of principles agreed at a meeting over the weekend.

The group dubbed the Independent Alliance met in Tullamore on Saturday with Ross telling Today with Seán O’Rourke that there was so much enthusiasm for the idea that they’re going ahead with it.

“We are not a party, we are not going to to be a political party, and we’re absolutely sick of political parties,” Ross said.

Ross, along with fellow TDs John Halligan, Finian McGrath, Tom Fleming and Michael Fitzmaurice, as well as Senator Gerard Craughwell, hope to form an alliance with a number of independent councillors who will be running in the general election.

The idea is that if the alliance wins a sizeable number of seats in the next Dáil it could support a government in return for delivery on a number of principles.

Among the principles are that a government would strip politicians of the power to make political appointments, revive rural Ireland, remove all obstacles to women achieving full potential and stop endless what it says is “kowtowing to Europe”.

Ross claimed that political parties have become a “vehicle for rewarding people”, saying that they appointed people to the judiciary, to the gardaí and other public bodies. He said the whip system has been “an absolute strangulation of the party political process”.

Ross said that after the next election, the alliance would put its principles on the table and tell political parties to “come and talk to us”.

Pressed on specifics, the Dublin South TD said:

We’re not going to be specific but we’re going to revive rural Ireland and make absolutely certain that that is a top priority of the government.

He insisted there would be “no local deals when we go into government” and said the alliance would “unite behind national policies”.

On possible cabinet positions he said this was “completely and utterly open to debate” and also insisted that “no whip, no whip whatsoever” would be applied to members of the alliance except on confidence motions and a budget.

Explaining how the alliance and a government might work together, he added:

You [the Independent Alliance] deliver on the vote of confidence, you say: ‘We’ll support you, we’ll keep you in government, but end patronage, look after rural Ireland, let us not have a party whip, look after women in a way that’s never been done before. All these principles must be implemented and we will vote for you.’

Read: Shane Ross (and others) will FINALLY launch the party that’s not a party next month

Explained: Why the new nickname for Shane Ross is ‘Fidel’

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