Ireland's newest political party, Renua Ireland, got off to a comical start on its launch day.
The bad day at the office started when one of the party’s three sitting TDs (members of Parliament) Terence Flanagan had a “car crash” interview with presenter Mary Wilson on RTE Radio’s Drivetime program.
During the three-minute interview Flanagan, expelled from Fine Gael in 2013, was unable to complete answers and ended some answers mid-sentence.
Wilson finished the interview with the words, “Terence, I think we’ll leave it there for today.”
Later Flanagan, TD for Dublin North-East, admitted, “Everyone has their good interviews and their bad interviews. Unfortunately this was a bad interview.”
Then there was a flurry of Twitter exchanges between two other presenters of evening programs when Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton opted not to go on because she was waiting to do a broadcast exclusive interview on The Late, Late Show on RTE Television.
Matt Cooper took to his Twitter page to criticize Creighton for not coming on his show on Today FM radio.
RTE TV’s Six One evening news anchor Bryan Dobson waded in to say that Creighton wouldn’t appear on his show either, although he got her husband and party colleague Senator Paul Bradford to appear.
The party’s launch-day confusion continued on the Internet where its website included “E. Hobbs” among the candidates who will run in the general election.
But party president Eddie Hobbs, a celebrity financial advisor and television presenter, said the website was wrong.
Nua means “new” and it is believed the title aims to reflect the image of a renewed Irish political party.
Creighton, 35, a former European Affairs Minister in Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny’s government, said they had invented a new word to name the party.
She gave an undertaking that her party will be the most open and transparent in the history of the state. “We intend to govern in sunshine,” she said.
The party said its policies on the major issues of the wider economy, health and education would not be published until later this year. The party intends to contest all 40 constituencies in the general election.
Formation of the party had its genesis in Creighton’s expulsion from Fine Gael for voting against abortion legislation in 2013. She was joined by fellow rebels Flanagan and Wicklow TD Billy Timmins who was also expelled from Fine Gael in 2013.
Creighton confirmed she would be voting yes in the same-sex marriage referendum in May, “but others are free to make their own choice when voting.” She repeatedly emphasized the party’s “open position” on matters of conscience.