Former labour candidate makes the leap to renua

Rachel Grimes - who ran for the Labour Party in the local elections last year - has become the first person in Westmeath to declare their membership of the new political party Renua, launched earlier today by Lucinda Creighton.
The party aims to run a candidate in every constituency in next year’s general election, and Ms Grimes has declared that she will be seeking the nomination.
“I live in the Meath West constituency,” said Ms Grimes, adding that it’s likely that she would seek the nomination to run in that area of Westmeath - meaning the hunt will also be on for a candidate to run in Longford/Westmeath.
With a background in radio journalism, Rachel, who is married and a mother of two, moved to Westmeath from her native Donaghmede in 2001, and has been living in Collinstown since 2007.
She said today (Friday), that after six years in the Labour Party, and coming from a strong Labour background, deciding to make the move to the new party had been difficult.
“It was a very tough decision and it wasn’t taken very lightly, but what really moved it for me was the freedom of choice, and that fact that [Renua] want to abolish the whip system, so everybody can vote with their conscience without being ‘punished’,” she said.
“There is also their willingness to think outside the box, and to listen to suggestions coming from the general public.”
A lot still has to be worked through, including how the question of how the party would fund so many candidates in an election setting.
“The party as of today does not have a bank account because it has to go through the process of registering,” she says.
Rachel, who is chairperson of the North Westmeath Historical Society and on the Westmeath committee of An Taisce, reveals that recruitment is to begin, and among the first public meetings of the new party is to be one in Kells on March 25, which is open to all.