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We asked Lucinda why she didn't resign her Dáil seat...

The leader of the country’s newest party gave a wide-ranging interview to TheJournal.ie this week.

lucinda smile

IT’S NEARLY THREE months since Renua Ireland was launched in blaze of publicity with much interest in Lucinda Creighton’s new political endeavour.

There’s no doubt the former Fine Gael minister is front-and-centre of the country’s newest political party, but behind the scenes there are lots of people working on candidate selection, policy, strategy and fundraising.

We’re waiting to hear a lot more about what Renua stands for and what it proposes in areas like health and water.

But here are a few things we gleaned from Creighton’s wide-ranging interview with TheJournal.ie this week…

1. It’s still early days

The latest Red C poll shows Renua on just one per cent with the party having so far failed to capitalise on the anti-government sentiment that had been drifting towards the ‘independents and others’ category.

But Creighton thinks “it’s very early days” and that the by-election result in Carlow-Kilkenny – where Patrick McKee came fourth – shows progress:

Source: Video: Michael Sheils McNamee/TheJournal.ie

2. Renua will run more than 40 candidates

At the glitzy launch in March, Creighton said Renua would field 50 to 60 candidates at the next general election. This week she told us it would definitely be more than 40 and that a quarter of these, including herself, will be officially selected within a fortnight.

But will she take a running mate with her in the competitive four-seat Dublin Bay South?

Source: Video: Michael Sheils McNamee/TheJournal.ie

3. But should she have resigned and sought a new mandate from her constituents?

Having been elected as a Fine Gael TD in 2011, one could argue that Creighton has no mandate from her constituents to be a Renua TD. In the UK, Tories who defected to UKIP, resigned their seats and ran in by-elections.

We put it to Lucinda that she should have done the same:

Source: Video: Michael Sheils McNamee/TheJournal.ie

4. Renua is in favour of water charges… and an Irish Water 

No one can accuse Creighton’s party of being populist when it comes to water. In March she said she wanted to “dismantle” Irish Water.

But this week, Creighton appeared to row back on that, saying a single utility “is far more effective” than local authorities in the provision of water.

She also believes it’s reasonable for people to pay for water, but it appears Renua doesn’t yet have a detailed policy on water:

Source: Video: Michael Sheils McNamee/TheJournal.ie

5. What were those odd welfare comments about? 

In Renua’s policy document, published in March, the party stated in relation to welfare that:

Those who are not self-reliant will be imprisoned rather than released by a life on welfare.

That statement caused a bit of a stir on social media at the time:

But Creighton explained this week it wasn’t about imprisoning people on welfare, it was merely a metaphor.

There are people who have no prospects in life because of the postal code where they’re born. 

Watch more:

Source: Video: Michael Sheils McNamee/TheJournal.ie

6. Finally, what about the public service? 

Renua has been highly critical of the recently-announced public sector pay deal, decrying it as more of the same old bad politics. But what exactly is Renua proposing should be done differently?

As the daughter a public servant and the sister of a teacher, Creighton believes it should be about performance:

Source: Video: Michael Sheils McNamee/TheJournal.ie

Read: Here’s everything we know about Renua Ireland (and its policies)

‘Is it a bird? Is it a plant?’: What on earth is that Renua Ireland logo all about?

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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