Ireland’s latest political party is likely to emerge from a national convention style rally to be staged by the Reform Alliance in Dublin later this month.
Led by a number of high profile Fine Gael rebels, including former Minister Lucinda Creighton, the Alliance has booked the RDS center for the convention.
The Sunday Independent reports that secret plans are now public ahead of the one-day gathering at the RDS, the first opportunity the Fine Gael outcasts will have to gauge public appetite for a new political party.
Creighton lost the Fine Gael whip after she opposed the recent referendum on abortion.
She told the paper: “We thought, ‘New Year, new political ideas.’ The timing seems right.
“This is not about any one individual, but about being a vehicle for new thinking.”
The Reform Alliance is spearheaded by seven former Fine Gael party members; deputies Creighton, Denis Naughten, Billy Timmins, Peter Mathews and Terence Flanagan and senators Paul Bradford and Fidelma Healy Eames.
The report adds that Creighton hopes to convince a number of independent deputies and former Fianna Fail politicians to join the new Alliance.
She added: “We have spoken to a few independents about the event which is wide open for Oireachtas (parliament) members to attend.”
The conference is expected to debate three main policy areas namely political, economic and health sector reform.
Deputy Timmins told the paper that the event is to focus in on crucial issues which he claimed had been ignored in recent months.
He said, “The Health Service Executive service plan dropped the day the Dail (parliament) broke up, so there was no discussion on it. There was no debate on the bailout exit strategy and no real debate on what to do with the Seanad (senate). The conference will address that.”
The report says the Reform Alliance has already been in contact with up to 200 interested figures including a host of high-profile public personalities and independent politicians.
A crowd of at least 400 people, including speakers and members of the public, is expected to attend the Conference on the last Saturday in January.
A series of smaller local meetings will be across the country after the conference ahead of an official launch in September.