|Chairperson||Séamus Ó Riain|
|Founded||13 March 2015|
|Headquarters||5 Fitzwilliam Square,|
Dublin 2, Ireland
|Political position||right-wing to far-right|
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. 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". 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. Leahy subsequently resigned as leader and from the party in June 2019 following the party's poor performance in the local elections. The party has no elected representatives.
After the 2011 general election a Fine Gael–Labour 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.
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.
Foundation of Renua Ireland
The new party was launched in Dublin on Friday 13 March 2015, followed by media appearances by its leading members. 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.
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. Financial advisor Eddie Hobbs was announced as party president, and later announced that he would not stand for election.
Later recruits included councillors Patrick McKee (Kilkenny, elected for Fianna Fáil), James Charity (Galway, elected as an Independent), Frank Durkan (Mayo, elected as an Independent), and Keith Redmond (Fingal, elected for Fine Gael). Charity, who had joined on 20 May 2015, left Renua on 30 July. Journalist John Drennan joined as the party's director of communications and political strategy.
Although the Irish abortion debate was what precipitated Creighton's defection from Fine Gael, the party initially stated that it was not taking a position on the issue and would allow members a free vote, before later stating under Leahy's leadership that it was a pro-life party that will ask all representatives to oppose a repeal of the Eighth Amendment, which places the life of the unborn on an equal footing to the life of the mother. After the passing of the abortion referendum, Renua stated it would support Vardakar's promise to keep abortion "safe, legal and RARE".
2016 general election
In January 2016, Renua announced a list of 18 candidates and published a manifesto. The main points of the manifesto included a flat personal tax rate of 23%, and a three-strikes law that would require mandatory life sentences on a third conviction for serious crimes. 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".
At close of nominations, 26 candidates were standing for the party at the 2016 general election.
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. 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. Following the defeat, Creighton insisted that Renua would continue and would field candidates for the next local elections in 2019.
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. Deputy Leader Billy Timmins had already resigned, and president Eddie Hobbs resigned from the party in June.
At the party's AGM in September 2016, John Leahy, an Offaly County Councillor, was selected as party leader, and businesswoman Mailo Power was elected as party president. In November 2016, Power resigned from the position of party president and from the party. By December 2016, Councillors Patrick McKee and Keith Redmond had both resigned from the party, leaving its leader John Leahy, and Ronan McMahon, a member of South Dublin County Council, as its only elected representatives. McMahon also subsequently resigned.
At the party's second AGM, held in Tullamore in November 2017, Leahy said the party was "ready to field 17 candidates" in any general election triggered by the imminent Dáil motion of no confidence in Frances Fitzgerald. The 2017 AGM was addressed by John Waters.
Two of the founding parliamentary members of Renua later rejoined Fine Gael. Billy Timmins was selected in 2019 as candidate in Wicklow for the 2020 general election, and Terence Flanagan was elected to Dublin City Council at its 2019 election.
Rosa Parks controversy
Renua attracted controversy when its official Twitter account tweeted the view that the 1955 Rosa Parks incident, or Montgomery bus boycott, generally considered an important event in the civil rights movement, was "orchestrated as part of an ongoing campaign" and that Parks was a "trained activist". The tweet in which the claims were made was subsequently deleted after the party received backlash on social media. John Leahy later expressed regret that the tweet was deleted.
2019 local elections
Renua ran 25 candidates in the 2019 local elections, which took place on 24 May 2019. Only Leahy was elected, topping the poll in the Birr area of Offaly County Council. He resigned from the party soon after the election.
2020 general election
Standards in Public Office Commission
In November 2020, the Standards in Public Office Commission announced that Renua were one of five political parties who failed to provide them with a set of audited accounts for 2019, in breach of statutory obligations.
Renua has a policy programme published in addition to its election manifesto of 2016. 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, capping state pensions at €100,000, and replacing defined-benefit pensions with defined-contribution pensions as examples.
The party has stated that "we would be strongly against further integration of the EU, particularly with relation to taxation or military affairs, and believe strongly that the EU works best when member countries are recognised fully as sovereign countries coming voluntarily together to promote economic cooperation rather than as a stepping stone to a federal Europe."
|Election||Candidates||Elected||±||First Pref votes||%||Rank||Leader|
|2016 General||26||0||3||46,552||2.2||9th||Lucinda Creighton|
|2019 European||1||0||6,897||0.4||9th||John Leahy|
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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
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