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Sunday 8 December 2019

Murphy hopes to Rise to the occasion with new left-wing grouping after Socialist split

TD Paul Murphy at the launch of new left-wing group Rise
TD Paul Murphy at the launch of new left-wing group Rise

Left-wing TD Paul Murphy has launched a new political group to be known as Rise in the wake of his split from the Socialist Party.

However, Mr Murphy will stay in the Solidarity-People Before Profit Dail grouping and expects a say in how its more than €750,000 a year in State funding will be spent.

Mr Murphy's departure from the Socialist Party marks a further splintering of the Irish left.

Last night he claimed people in left-wing movements "unlike most people on the right, take politics really seriously".

He said "inevitably we have real debates" and this leads to disagreements about strategy as opposed to personalities, which he argued are the basis for rows in right-wing parties.

The Dublin South-West TD insisted that even though he has left the Socialist Party, he will continue to "work closely" with its TDs Ruth Coppinger and Mick Barry in a "mature" way.

The Solidarity-People Before Profit group got more than €750,000 in State support from two funding streams last year based on its share of the vote.

Mr Murphy last night said Rise is part of Solidarity-People Before Profit and he expects the group will discuss how the money is spent in future. He is the only elected member of Rise, which stands for Radical, Internationalist, Socialist and Environmentalist.

One of its key priorities is to prepare and launch a 'Green New Deal' with socialist policies for Ireland.

Jobs

Its goal is to develop free public transport, a green jobs programme, a rapid transition to renewable energy and the creation of a sustainable model of agriculture as part of the fight against climate change.

Mr Murphy's departure from the Socialist Party marks a further fracture amid disagreement over the extent to which it should work with other left-leaning parties such as Sinn Fein and the Greens, as well as broader left-wing campaigns.

A key figure in the anti-water charges movement, Mr Murphy favours working more closely with other parties, but this is opposed by the majority of Socialist Party members.

Speaking at the launch of Rise, Mr Murphy pointed to the millions who took to the streets around the world to protest for climate action in recent weeks.

He said he believes it is necessary for socialists to participate in movements even when they do not agree with everything other groups stand for.

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