Several hundred people attended the National launch in Ballyfermot, Dublin, of the new political party Aontú led by Peadar Tóbín TD, who left Sinn Fein because of his pro-life stance.
At the meeting on Saturday, Mr Tóbín said they have now formed 65 Cumann throughout the country. “In three months we have held 40 public meetings throughout the country. No other political party has engaged at such a community level with the people of Ireland for many years. Well over 5,000 people attend those meetings,” he said.
“Many are sick and tired of the membership dis-empowerment of those parties and the disconnect that exists between these leaders and the workers on the ground. This diversity is one of the major strengths of Aontú,” says Mr Tóbín.
The party is also expected to run up to 65 candidates in upcoming local and European elections.
Media coverage of the event has focused on one question from an Irish Times journalist about immigration even though the topic was not even raised during the three hours of speeches at the launch, and is not a central platform of the party. The party released the full audio of the question and answer on social media in order to refute suggestions that they were “anti-immigrant”.