Party started early for Tóibín
The UK Electoral Commission forced Peadar Toibin into launching ‘Aontu’ - his new party’s name earlier than expected.
The Meath West TD has been visiting counties all across the country in the last few weeks, building support and candidates for his Irish Unity Party - the name of which he hadn’t publicly announced.
Mr Tóibín applied to register the political movement with electoral bodies in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The Electoral Commission in Northern Ireland confirmed it had received an application from Mr Tóibín to register a party in the North. On Monday evening, it published the name ‘Aontu’ on its website taking the former Sinn Fein deputy somewhat by surprise.
He confirmed the news at an event in Belfast and believes he could have attracted significantly more people and media to the event had he been aware the new party name was to be released.
Aontú means ‘unity and consent’, according to Deputy Tóibín who resigned from Sinn Fein at the end of 2018 over its support for repealing the Eighth Amendment on abortion.
Mr Tóibín has claimed more than 20 Cumainn have been founded in the party, with six of these in the north of Ireland.
“We have achieved more in the north than Fianna Fáil in 20 years. Counties such as Meath, Cork, Dublin, Donegal have multiple Cumainn functioning. Some Cumainn have started to canvass once a week in their areas,” he said.
In Meath, Aontú hopes to run a candidate in all electoral areas in the upcoming local elections.