James Charity, the formerly Independent Galway county councillor has today announced he is joining Lucinda Creighton's Renua and will seek to stand for the new political party in Galway West in next year's General Election.
Cllr Charity was first elected to County Buildings, as a first time candidate, at last year's locals in the Athenry-Oranmore ward, with a total vote of 1,628. In November he announced that he would be contesting Election 2016. Now a member of a political party he has said he intends to seek a nomination to contest Galway West as a Renua candidate.
His selection will be a mere formality given he is seen as a potential dark horse in Galway West and a politician with potential, and Renua is keen to field candidates in every constituency across the State. According to its website, Renua now has 175 declared candidates for the election. However Cllr Charity will face a tough task in Galway West where his main compeitors will be Independents Noel Grealish and Fidelma Healy Eames, and possibly Fianna Fáil's Mary Hoade, in the crowded eastern end of the constituency. However, the Advertiser believes that there is at least one other prominent Galway councillor who will announce he is joining the party in the coming weeks. Indeed an announcement was expected from this second councillor last week.
Explaining his decision to join Renua, Cllr Charity said his decision to leave the Independent ranks "was not made lightly", but he had come to believe "it was clear a more cohesive platform was necessary" to achieve "substantial change at national level". He said he has joined Renua as he feels it is a party that "means business" and is "not there to prop up or support Government policy, but rather to act, in opposition and government, as the people’s watchdog".
"The establishment parties have consistently shown a willingness to sacrifice Ireland’s long term economic and social wellbeing for short term electoral dividends," he said. "These old ways, developed by Fianna Fail and perpetuated by Fine Gael, have not worked, and must never be allowed to re-sprout in an unopposed manner again."
Keen interests of Cllr Charity's have been issues of public expenditure and waste, and Renua's economic stance appears to have had most to do with his decision to join the party.
"Politics in Ireland is a cartel where a small group of restricted traders compete to serve selected vested interests," he said. "Renua represents the outsider classes. We are the defenders of that section of the working poor, the squeezed middle, which are courted by the Coalition cartel in theory and fleeced by them in practice. We represent those who must pay, pay more, and then pay again, for private health insurance, child care, transport to work, water, property, the bailing out of banks, and are penalised via variable interest rates so as to facilitate the profitable sale of banks. We represent those who believe the State should be a source of security and safety to the citizens, rather than a difficulty or a threat.”