Ex-Newstalk chief announced as a Renua election candidate

Creighton’s party branded ‘neo-liberal repackaged Fine Gael’ by Richard Boyd Barrett

Former Newstalk chief executive Frank Cronin is one of three new general election candidates announced by Renua, the party led by Lucinda Creighton.

Mr Cronin, from Cork, intends to run in Dún Laoghaire. He lives in Sandycove in the constituency.

"It's time for something new and it's time for greater integrity. Integrity is very high on Renua's agenda. Putting yourself forward is important. Standing up for something is important," he told The Irish Times.

A former chief executive of the Sunday Tribune newspaper, he is currently head of IPC Digital Media and a member of the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland board.


Mr Cronin said he had never been involved with a political party before but had attended Renua meetings and found them interesting. He subsequently met Ms Creighton and they discussed his candidacy.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett, who represents Dún Laoghaire, said he did not believe Renua would make much of an impact in the constituency.

“Renua are repackaged Fine Gael with probably an even more extreme neo-liberal economic stance...To be honest I wouldn’t really imagine they’re going to have much of an impact,” Mr Boyd Barrett said.

He said he had never heard of Mr Cronin. Mr Boyd Barrett was speaking at the launch of People Before Profit’s pre-budget submission.

Meanwhile, in Limerick City, Renua will field Desmond J Hayes, a businessman and accountant who is well-known in the region.

A keen sportsman, he hurled for Na Piarsaigh and played rugby with Crescent College and Old Crescent.

“Mr Hayes political priority will be in the areas of creating work and helping SMEs,” Renua’s spokesman said.

Mr Hayes contested last year’s local elections as an Independent candidate.

Meanwhile, a newcomer to the political scene will run for the party in Cavan-Monaghan.

Mary Smyth is a counselling psychologist registered with the Psychological Society of Ireland.

She operates from a private practice in her home town of Monaghan.

Though she has not run for office previously she campaigned for the election of Independent candidates in Monaghan during the 2014 elections, the party spokesman said.

“In keeping with our ambition to build a new politics, and to bring new voices to the political process, none of the three have previously run for the Dáil,” he added.

He said the party would shortly announce the selection of a number of other candidates.

Renua now has 14 declared general election candidates, four of whom are Councillors.

Ms Creighton has said developing strong representation on local authorities is a key political priority for the party.

Mary Minihan

Mary Minihan

Mary Minihan is Features Editor of The Irish Times