Renua loses second candidate as Jonathan Irwin withdraws

Founder of Jack and Fill Foundation said he was withdrawing based on medical advice

Renua Ireland has lost its second candidate in two weeks. Jonathan Irwin has confirmed he will not be running for the party headed by Lucinda Creighton.

The founder of the Jack and Fill Foundation said he was withdrawing as a candidate for the South Kildare constituency based on advice from his doctors.

Mr Irwin said he was still a strong supporter of Ms Creighton’s party.

A spokesman for Renua said the decision was based on health reasons and Mr Irwin will continue to advocate for and support Renua.

He added: “His contribution is deeply valued. We hope to continue to avail of Mr Irwin’s quick-thinking, original decision making and his intuitive approach to problem solving well into the future.

“What is most typical of Jonathan is that his decision to not contest was made sufficiently early for RENUA Ireland to select a new candidate for Kildare South.”

Mr Irwin said in a statement: “Despite months of medical treatment, my doctor tells me that the paralysis in my right leg post my successful cancer treatment, bringing with it a certain amount of pain and lack of balance, is irreversible, therefore severely restricting my mobility. A fact I now must accept, even though I still believe that doctors aren’t always right.

“As a 74-year-old, broken down old horse dealer, I must use the time and mobility I have to best effect and in particular to fight the Government every step of the way to prevent them locking up sick children for the next 100 years within the St James Campus – the wrong location for the national children’s hospital.

“Therefore, it is with sadness but a good dose of common sense, that I must abandon my plan to run in the next general election as a Renua candidate for South Kildare, and instead focus my full attention on the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation to fundraise and advocate for precious children who make my disability look like the hiccups.”

Mr Irwin becomes the second candidate to withdraw from running for Renua in the next general election.

Councillor James Charity announced he was leaving the party last week, only two months after joining the party.

Mr Charity, a barrister, cited several reasons for leaving Renua so soon after joining. The principal one, he said, was what he described as the party’s u-turn on water charges.