herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Lucinda loses her fifth candidate just weeks from election

Politics

Lucinda Creighton
Lucinda Creighton

Lucinda Creighton's new political party, Renua Ireland, has lost its fifth general election candidate inside of six months.

Just eight weeks from the expected election date, party officials have confirmed that their Limerick City candidate, accountant and tax consultant Desmond J Hayes, had withdrawn from the contest "for personal reasons".

Mr Hayes, who could not be contacted for comment, was cited on the Revenue Commissioners' tax defaulters list published last month as having been fined €1,250.

The fine related to his failure to file tax returns and at the time of publication of the list, he told reporters it was linked to "family matters" and he would be appealing the decision in due course.

The prospective Limerick City constituency candidate did not appear at a launch attended by the party's 18 confirmed candidates in Dublin on Monday.

However, his name remained on the candidate list issued to media before Christmas.

It is understood that Mr Hayes's decision to withdraw his name came after talks which involved the party's ethics officer Karl Deeter.

Hayes, a 45-year-old accountant and tax consultant, is based on Limerick city's fashionable North Circular Road and threw in his lot with Renua last summer.

In the May 2014 local elections, he contested a seat on the newly-merged Limerick City and Council as an Independent and polled 334 first preferences.

Mr Hayes is the fifth Renua candidate loss since its launch last March.

Tolerate

Just last month their Cavan-Monaghan contender, Mary Smyth, withdrew after she became the focus of controversy for comments she made about the Pope, the Vatican and gay sex.

Party leader Ms Creighton said they would not tolerate comments which could be deemed offensive to the gay community.

A party spokesman said it was best for both sides for Ms Smith to part company with Renua.

In October, their Wexford candidate, Shane Dunphy, who is an expert on child welfare and a writer on the topic, withdrew from the election. Mr Dunphy stressed that he would continue as a party member.

In August, the founder of the children's charity, the Jack and Jill Foundation, Johnathan Irwin, announced he was withdrawing from the election for health reasons.

In July, the Galway West candidate, Cllr James Charity, quit the party and returned to the Independent ranks. At the time he said that he would seek a Dail seat as an Independent.

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