Southern Star Ltd. logo

Collins sets up new political party

November 20th, 2023 7:00 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Collins sets up new political party Image
Michael Collins' colleague said: ‘The "not so silent" majority have spoken.’ (Photo: Karlis Dzjamko)

Share this article

THE constituency of Cork South West looks set to have two party leaders following the establishment of a new political party by a local TD.

Independent TD Michael Collins will lead a new party called the Independent Ireland Party which was registered last week. He shares a constituency with the leader of the Social Democrats, Holly Cairns.

'The people of Ireland have been calling for a new party – they are sick of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and don’t want to turn to Sinn Fein,' the TD, who was first elected as a county councillor in 2014 and was subsequently elected to the Dáil in 2016, told The Southern Star.

‘I have spent the last year-and-a-half putting in the foundations for a new party with like-minded Independent TDs, such as Richard O’Donoghue, who is based in Limerick county, and others,’ he added.

Independent O’Donoghue is the general secretary of the new party.

The new party's logo.


Deputy Collins said the new party’s primary objective is to focus on the local and EU elections in 2024 in which they plan to run 40 or 50 candidates so they will have a strong voice for the development of rural and urban communities.

‘The biggest issue of concern is housing – considering that there are one million people on waiting lists. Our agriculture and fishery industries will also be a priority because they have been decimated by regulations imposed by successive government,’ said Deputy Collins.

Deputy Collins said his party will not follow traditional party structures.

The Independent TD, who has, in the past, received criticism for what some consider to be traditional views on climate change, immigration and abortion, said the party will be offering its members the right to vote 'according to their conscience'.

‘It is no secret that I am pro-life and always will be,’ said the deputy for Cork South West, ‘but we, as a party, will allow our members to vote according to their conscience and will not be imposing a party whip.’

Commenting on climate change issues, which he claims have been caused by larger nations damaging the environment globally, Deputy Collins said: ‘We here, in Ireland, need to look after basic issues like dredging and the clearing of drains to protect against flooding. What we are proposing is a common sense approach – one that doesn't treat Irish farmers as if they are environmental terrorists.’

The TD, who is currently a member of the Rural Independents group, said he is on record as saying the needs and rights of Irish people should be considered before allocating resources to immigrants and refugees.

If and when the new party is ratified on December 1st, Deputy Collins said it will be open to like-minded people to join.

Tags used in this article

Share this article