Independents unable to agree on think-in

The Independent Alliance have failed to arrange a national conference despite at least six attempts to gather their supporters.

Independents unable to agree on think-in

The Independent Alliance have failed to arrange a national conference despite at least six attempts to gather their supporters.

While the main political parties will all hold their traditional think-ins next month in advance of the new Dáil term, the alliance, which currently has four elected TDs, do not have a meeting scheduled.

It is understood that disorganisation and a lack of agreement on dates and locations have scuppered numerous attempts to hold a national conference of TDs, councillors and supporters.

Around 100 people, including around 65 councillors attended a meeting before the 2016 general election and the Independent Alliance put forward 20 candidates across the country.

However, there are now concerns around the number of people who may turn up if a think-in is arranged. Because the alliance is not like a regular particular party and does not have signed up members, those involved are fearful that many councillors who voiced support before the last general election may now have strayed away from the group.

“It’s about trying to smooth out the bumps. Because we are not a political party there is no discipline, there is no hierarchy, there is no structure, everything is democratic in our group but it can be like herding sheep, there is always someone who it doesn’t suit,” one Independent Alliance member said when asked about organising a meeting.

The alliance cancelled its annual conference, which had been due to take place in the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone in April, as the internal-row, which led to the resignation of Galway-East TD Sean Canney, was raging.

Prior to that, the possibility of holding an event in Tuam, Co Galway, had been looked at.

Consideration was even given to holding an event in the constituency of Dublin North Central TD Finian McGrath, however, it was deemed too awkward for many of their rural supporters. Likewise organising an event in Shane Ross’ constituency was ruled out.

Independent Alliance TD Finian McGrath said: “We have nothing planned at the moment.”

However, he added alliance members hope to hold an event in the near future.

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