Renua Ireland

Renua Ireland
Leader John Leahy[1]
President Mailo Power[1]
Chairperson Michael O'Dowd[1]
Founded 13 March 2015
Political position Right-wing[2]/Centre-right[3]
Colours      Yellow[4]
Dáil Éireann
0 / 158
Seanad Éireann
0 / 60
Local government
5 / 949

Renua Ireland, commonly called Renua, is a political party in Ireland. The party was launched on 13 March 2015, with former Fine Gael TD Lucinda Creighton as founding leader.[5] Prior to its launch it had used the slogan Reboot Ireland. The name Renua is intended to suggest both the English Renew and the Irish Ré Nua "New Era".[6] Following the vacancy created by Creighton's resignation after the 2016 general election, John Leahy was selected as leader at the party's AGM in September 2016.


Reform Alliance

After the 2011 general election a Fine GaelLabour coalition government was formed. Lucinda Creighton of Fine Gael was appointed Minister of State for European Affairs. In 2013 Creighton defied the party whip on anti-abortion grounds to oppose the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. Creighton and others were as a consequence expelled from the Fine Gael parliamentary party; they formed a loose alliance called the Reform Alliance. Some TDs continued as ordinary members of Fine Gael, while others left the party completely.

Reboot Ireland

The forthcoming launch of a new political party was announced at a press conference on 2 January 2015 held by Creighton, Eddie Hobbs, a financial advisor and broadcaster, and John Leahy, an independent member of Offaly County Council.[7] Shane Ross, an independent who had concurrently proposed a new alliance of independents, said he would not be involved in the new party,[7] which was given a temporary name of Reboot Ireland.

Renua Ireland

The new party was launched on Friday 13 March 2015 in Dublin, followed by media appearances by its leading members.[8] Creighton and party president Eddie Hobbs appeared on RTÉ's The Late Late Show to explain their policies. Hobbs denied he was planning to stand for election, although the party's website claimed that he would be a candidate.[9]

Its elected representatives on its foundation were TDs Lucinda Creighton, Billy Timmins and Terence Flanagan, Senators Paul Bradford and Mary Ann O'Brien, and Councillors John Leahy (Offaly) and Ronan McMahon. O'Brien, a Taoiseach's nominee to the Seanad, stated that she would not join the party until the general election campaign.[10][11] Financial advisor Eddie Hobbs was announced as party president, and later announced that he would not stand for election.[12][13]

Later recruits included councillors Patrick McKee (Kilkenny, elected for Fianna Fáil),[14] James Charity (Galway, elected as an Independent), Frank Durkan (Mayo, elected as an Independent),[15] and Keith Redmond (Fingal, elected for Fine Gael).[16] Charity, who had joined on 20 May 2015, left Renua on 30 July.[17] Journalist John Drennan joined as the party's director of communications and political strategy.[18]

On 22 May 2015 the first Renua Ireland candidate to face election was Patrick McKee in the Carlow–Kilkenny by-election.[19][20] He finished fourth, with 9.5% of the first-preference vote.[21][22]

Although the Irish abortion debate was what precipitated Creighton's defection from Fine Gael, the party will not take a position on the issue and will allow members a free vote on it.[23]


Renua has a policy programme published in addition to its election manifesto of 2016.[24] It claims policies are centred around an evidence-based approach regardless of where that policy may be viewed ideologically. It cites proposals for State-funded community childcare schemes as an example. However, it has policies that are right-wing, such as capping pensions, replacing defined benefit pensions with defined contribution pensions, and the introduction of a flat tax.[25]

2016 general election

The party had hoped to run between 50 and 60 candidates in the 2016 general election, with at least one in each Dáil constituency.[26][27]

In January 2016 Renua announced a list of 18 candidates and published a manifesto.[28][29] The main points of the manifesto included a flat personal tax rate of 23%,[30] and a three-strikes law which would require mandatory life sentences on a third conviction for serious crimes.[31] The flat tax rate was criticised by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and described by Labour's Kevin Humphreys as "too right-wing for Donald Trump".[30]

At close of nominations, 26 candidates were standing for the party at the 2016 general election.[32]

At the 2016 general election incumbent TDs Billy Timmins, Terence Flanagan and party leader Lucinda Creighton all lost their seats, leaving Renua with no representation in the Dáil.[33] Nevertheless, the party won over 2% of first-preference votes, which means that it will be entitled to a quarter of a million euro of annual state funding for the duration of the next government.[34] Following the defeat, Creighton insisted that Renua would continue and would field candidates for the next local elections in 2019.[35]

On 14 May 2016, in the aftermath of the general election and following the formation of the new government, Creighton resigned as leader of Renua.[36] Deputy Leader Billy Timmins had already resigned,[37] and president Eddie Hobbs resigned from the party in June.[38] John Leahy, an Offaly County Councillor, was selected as leader at the party's AGM in September 2016.


  1. 1 2 3 Renua Ireland (2016-09-04). "Video: Cllr John Leahy, Party Leader, Renua Ireland". Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  2. Bardon, Sarah (20 October 2015). "Renua first to unveil election posters – with familiar slogan". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  3. Downing, John (13 March 2015). "Revealed: Lucinda's new party is called Renua Ireland -". Irish Independent. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  4. McGee, Harry (13 March 2015). "Renua: the making of a political party". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  5. 1 2 O'Regan, Mark (2 January 2015). "Reboot Ireland: Eddie Hobbs on board for Lucinda's new party". Irish Independent. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  6. Harry McGee (13 March 2015). "Renua Ireland's Terence Flanagan has 'mental blank' on radio". Irish Times. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  7. Jason Kennedy; Denise Calnan; Sam Griffin (13 March 2015). "Renua Ireland's eventful first day". Irish Independent. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  8. "A Renua senator? Me? I'm not even a member!". Irish Daily Mail. 14 March 2015.
  9. "Kildare Senator To Join Renua Ireland.". Kfm. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  10. "People". Renua Ireland. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  11. McGee, Harry (16 March 2015). "Eddie Hobbs under no pressure to stand for Renua in election". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  12. O'Connell, Hugh (31 March 2015). "'I never said that': Renua's latest recruit denies trying to join Sinn Féin". Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  13. Durcan joins Renua ranks by Edwin McGreal and Ciara Galvin, Mayo News, 28 July 2015.
  14. O'Connell, Hugh (8 October 2015). "Defection: Renua captures FG councillor because of 'nanny state tendencies'". Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  15. Downing, John (30 July 2015). "Charity leaves Renua 10 weeks after joining". Irish Independent. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  16. Kelly, Fiach (5 May 2015). "Journalist leaves 'Sunday Independent' to join Renua Ireland". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  17. "Creighton poaches Fianna Fáil councillor for byelection". The Irish Times. 30 March 2015.
  18. "Defection: Renua poaches Fianna Fáil councillor for by-election". The Journal. 30 March 2015.
  19. "Carlow-Kilkenny By-Election 2015". RTÉ.ie. 23 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  20. Ó Cionnaith, Fiachra. "Carlow-Kilkenny byelection: Bobby Aylward wins for Fianna Fail". Irish Examiner. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  21. Murphy, Sue (13 March 2015). "Lucinda Creighton officially launches her new political party, Renua Ireland -". Newstalk. Retrieved 4 January 2016. we will be the only political party in Ireland and across Europe that has an open party position on Abortion... we do not believe party politics in Ireland has a place for issues of conscience
  22. "Renua - Pre-Budget Submission" (PDF). Retrieved 6 Sep 2016.
  23. "Renua - 2016 Manifesto" (PDF). Retrieved 6 Sep 2016.
  24. "Lucinda Creighton's new party to run 50 or 60 candidates". The Herald. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  25. Downing, John (20 April 2015). "Renua targets tally of 10 TDs and a government role". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  26. "Renua Ireland to field 18 election candidates". RTÉ News. RTÉ.ie. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  27. McConnell, Daniel (4 January 2016). "Renua to field 18 candidates in General Election, and would abolish €100 water grant". Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  28. 1 2 Doyle, Kevin (6 October 2015). "Renua defends tax plan 'too radical for Trump'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  29. Kelly, Fiach (4 January 2016). "Renua to outline 'red line' coalition issues ahead of election". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  30. "List of General Election 2016 Candidates".
  31. "Election wipeout for Renua while Social Democrats rise". 28 February 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  33. Mary Minihan (29 February 2016). "Former TD Lucinda Creighton says finding a new job the priority". Irish Times. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  34. Ryan, Philip (14 May 2015). "Lucinda Creighton steps down as leader of Renua Ireland". Irish Independent. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  35. Timmins, Billy (1 May 2016). "We're all to blame for disastrous Renua election campaign". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  36. Niall O;Connor (2016-06-13). "Eddie Hobbs quits Renua - future of the party now in serious doubt". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2016-06-13.

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