Fifty attend meeting to set up new party


ABOUT 50 people attended a public meeting last night called to establish a national political party.

The meeting, held in a pub in Kilkenny, was organised by Leo Armstrong, a former member of Fine Gael and the Green Party, who had appealed in letters to newspapers for people to join him in the “setting up of a new Irish political party to replace Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael”.

He claimed that “the people of Ireland, have no confidence in their ability to solve the present economic crisis” and expected strong interest in forming a new party “if people are as angry as they appear to be when they are on The Frontlineor on the Joe Duffy show”.

Mr Armstrong said the new party had the provisional working title of “The Irish Independents’ Party”.

In order to be listed on the State’s official Register of Political Parties, a new party needs to have at least 300 members. He was “disappointed” with the low turnout which he believed might have been due to the weather.

A succession of speakers angrily denounced “corruption”, “cronyism” and other alleged failings of the current political Establishment.

Mr Armstrong (70) said he had been a member of Fine Gael for “many years” but had left after becoming “disenchanted” and then joined the Green Party because he had “always been an environmentalist” but had also became disillusioned.

Last year, he contested the local elections as an Independent and came last of 11 candidates, polling just over 2 per cent of first preference votes.