Second Renua election candidate exits embryonic party

Founder of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation Jonathan Irwin not to run for party

Renua Ireland has lost a second general election candidate in two weeks with Jonathan Irwin confirming he will not be running for Lucinda Creighton's party.

Mr Irwin, the founder of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation, which provides nursing care and support for children with neurological development issues, said he would not be contesting the South Kildare constituency due to advice received from his doctors.

He said he was still a strong supporter of the party established by Ms Creighton, a former Fine Gael member.

Common sense

“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,” he said in a statement.


“I know the party will do well, despite my absence as a candidate; although I will continue to cheerlead from the sideline.”

The Galway West-based councillor James Charity announced he was leaving Renua last week, only two months after joining the party. Mr Charity, a barrister, cited several reasons for parting ways including what he described as its U-turn on water charges. He will revert to being an Independent councillor.

Water charges

Speaking on

The Irish Times

Inside Politics podcast yesterday, Ms Creighton said the party’s position on water charges had been clear from the outset.

Asked if Mr Charity knew of them, she replied: “Of course he did. We have all spoken on it in the Dáil, we voted accordingly in the Dáil. I have spoken about it on multiple media interviews, our position is on our website. So I don’t know.”

Ms Creighton said transitioning from being an Independent “where it is very easy to be all things to all men to suddenly having to defend a party position that is not a populist position is difficult. We will have others who will feel the heat and may not be able to stand it. That is the difficulty of being in a political party.”

She said while Renua was advocating for water charges it wanted Irish Water dismantled, describing it as “dysfunctional”.