Lucinda Creighton joined by Eddie Hobbs in new party

Former Fine Gael junior minister calls for a ‘reboot’ of Ireland

Former Fine Gael minister Lucinda Creighton has said a new political party will be launched "within eight weeks", with candidates running in every constituency at the next General Election.

Ms Creighton was was joined by financial commentator and advisor Eddie Hobbs at the announcement of the new party in Dublin.

Ms Creighton said the new party, which does not yet have a name, would be “hugely ambitious, bold and brave” and had the potential to win “many, many seats”.

Appealing to others to get involved, she said she wanted to harness a spirit of volunteerism that, she argued, no longer existed in other parties. Ms Creighton said 100 volunteers, including actuaries, barristers and people working in the community sector, were already helping.

Candidates, policy advisors, advocates and supporters were required. She stressed members would be free to adopt their own positions on matters of conscience, such as the upcoming marriage equality referendum.

Mr Hobbs cast himself in the role of recruiter for the party, but said he may consider running. He said approximately 200 people were needed.

“I am here because I believe Irish people deserve a genuine choice at the next election. It is my intention to provide that choice,” Ms Creighton said.

“Since last April I have been working with an ever-expanding group of highly motivated professional volunteers so that we can radically change how we run this country.”

Independent Offaly-based councillor John Leahy, who was also present at the event in the Marker Hotel in Dublin, will be joining the party.

Mr Leahy, who was elected to Offaly County Council in 2009 and represents the Ferbane area, said he wanted to tackle the demise of rural Ireland. "I, like many others in this political movement, see the demise of rural Ireland unfold before our very eyes. A modern Ireland should be proud of its rural traditions," he said. "This new movement will embrace the views of rural Ireland. We will act on the issue of rural demise in a focussed and determined manner."

Ms Creighton said the four founding principles of the party would be:

* Building an economy for entrepreneurs across the social, private and public sectors

* Make the public sector public

* Giving politics back to the people

* Measuring Government with a clear social target

She said she wanted a party that served the people. “I am pleased to announce that we will launch a new political party this spring. Between now and then I am inviting ordinary Irish citizens the length and breadth of this country to get involved,” she said.

“We want to ‘Reboot Ireland’ and we want those who are as passionate about this country as we are to join us on this mission.”

A website - rebootireland.com - has also been launched, along with a hashtag #rebootireland Responding to the announcement, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said "the last thing Ireland needs is yet another conservative political party".

“There is little in the background, outlook or policies of Lucinda Creighton or those aligned with her that offers the type of political change that citizens now seek,” he said.