“Peadar Toibin, the Meath West TD who set up new political party, Aontu, says the aim of the party is to ""break the group think and the orthodoxy that is sinking this country."
Launching the party's local election manifesto today, he said: “In just over four months we have built a national political movement. Some 6,500 people have attended our meetings across the country. 2,000 people have become activists. Just under 70 excellent men and women have been selected as Aontú candidates to run in the local elections north and south. By any standards this is phenomenal grass roots development.
“We receive no funding from the state whatsoever. We have no head office, we do not have a team of staff. It is truly wonderful to see such a level of momentum and growth in our organisation since then.
He said: “Aontú stands for 'Economic Justice, Unity of the Irish people and Regional Development'
“We seek to break the stifling group think that has taken over Irish politics in recent years. There exists a space between what many people think and what they are now willing to state in public. Open and respectful debate is also critical in rigorously holding the establishment to account. Open and honest debate is not the enemy of democracy, it is a pivotal part of every democracy.
Ireland is suffering from crisis fatigue, the deputy said. "Fine Gael is burying €1 billion in wasted overspend under the National Children’s Hospital, €2.5 billion in in wasted overspend into the National Broadband Plan that they will gift to a private company. This is not funny money plucked out of the sky. It’s coming out of your pocket and out of key life and death services across the country. Fine Gael are economic illiterates. Only economic Illiterates could allow this to happen.
“Fianna Fáil have gone from ignoring internal democracy within their party to deleting altogether at the last ard fheis. Irish political parties have detached themselves from their roots and become ideological husks standing for nothing and travelling in whatever direction the wind is blowing. Why does Fianna Fáil have absolutely no red lines anymore? What damage or division does FG have to create before FF will hold them to account. The truth is if you vote Fianna Fáil you get Fine Gael.
He continued: “The opposition has failed us to. There will be huffing and puffing in the Dáil but no one will ever be held to account in any way. No one will lose their jobs. There will be no consequences for either the grinding indifference of the government or the scandalous waste of our money.
“Aontú is no ordinary political party. We are for sure, a fledgling political party that is only four months old. But we have serious ambition for Ireland. We are not here to fiddle around the edges of the political system. We are not here to rearrange the chairs of a sinking political culture. We are here to build a new political movement that will change the face of Ireland for generations. We seek to radically reform the political system in Ireland from the bottom up.
“Our aim is to break the group think and the orthodoxy that is sinking this country. We want elected reps to be able to think for themselves, we want our elected reps to have real back bone. We want them to stand up and be brave in calling out the vested interests and the intellectual fashions our time.
“Aontú means unity. We aim to help heal the division in Ireland. To heal the division north south, east west. Aontú believe that there is one Ireland and that we are all in this together.”