Renua knew battle was lost six months before election

The former head of strategy and communications with Renua Ireland has admitted he knew the party would make little ground in the general election, six months ahead of voters going to the polls.

Renua knew battle was lost six months before election

Author and former journalist John Drennan said he envisaged the campaign for Renua was going to be a “grim struggle”, with the party in the end returning no TDs to the Dail.

In an interview with Gavan Reilly on Today FM’s The Last Word, Mr Drennan, though, did not leave the blame for the campaign at the door of party leader, Lucinda Creighton.

Instead, he blamed politics and said the task of launching a smaller party with minimal resources had been the challenge.

“Renua was a concept when I arrived,” he said, and waiting to be “shaped and formed”.

“The problem was to try and communicate it,” he said, admitting that “did not go superbly well” when it was left with no TDs.

But the former political correspondent said some of Renua’s ideas would be carried on.

However, he added: “It was always going to be a harsh struggle, forming itself in a very fast-paced harsh landscape.”

This was because other larger parties were already set up, better resourced and Renua was always “playing catch up”, he added.

The problems had been resources and a general revolt against party politics.

“Politics still has to do a lot of thinking about its relevance,” Mr Drennan said.

Asked by Mr Reilly when the party strategist had realised Renua was losing the battle, he responded that had happened six months before the election.

“I always knew it was going to be a grim struggle.”

Huge pressure, he said, had been placed on party leader and former minister, Ms Creighton.

“She carried it as well as she did…did we have options, I don’t think so.”

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