What – or who – is the New Ireland Movement?

by Dette McLoughlin

What is the New Ireland movement?

ECONOMIST DAVID MCWILLIAMS is reportedly considering running in the general election under an umbrella group called the New Ireland Movement.

But what – or who – is the New Ireland Movement?

No organisation with the name New Ireland Movement appears on the current Register of Political Parties, but the domain names newirelandmovement.org and .com have been registered.

A Facebook account for the New Ireland Movement was set up in late November 2010 and has 12 followers at the time of writing. No administrator or creator is listed for the account.

A number of “core values” outlined on the page includes “strong localised government”, “self reliance”, “community empowerment” and “family & community values”.

“Free markets & protection of taxpayers” is also listed among its values, and its economic position is roughly outlined in these two short paragraphs:

We believe in a strongly regulated free market, by this we believe that regulation should not be hindering or cumbersome but should be vigilent and when necessary intervene in a strict and forceful manner.

We believe that the money the government has is derived through taxes and therefore is the peoples [sic] money and must be spent in a responsible manner. We believe that government both central and local should be limited in its spending that budgests [sic] should be balanced and excess returned to the taxpayer.

The following paragraphs are also excerpts from the group’s statement and cover the group’s position on “personal responsibility”, patriotism and government:

We belive in the rule of law, that there must be personal responsibility at all levels of society, nothing comes for free, every citizen should have rights but with those rights come responsibility.

We believe that a pride in our nation is important, Patriotism in modern Ireland is not just about love of country but also a welcoming nature to all people who make their homes here. We need to embrace the modern Ireland and create a new 21st century patriotism that sees all residents in Ireland working together for the betterment of our country and our communities

We believe in personal freedoms and the right to every person to live their lives freely (within the law and within community norms). The government must not restrict people from making decisions for themselves that effect their life and the life of their families, freedom of religion, business and living are very important. The state must not tie the hands of any citizen to achieve the maximum level of comfort or happiness that they wish to persue, no citizen should be restricted from persuing the achievment of happiness and personal comfort.

We believe that the best form of government is the government that is most local to the people. Decision making needs to be done by local representatives elected by the people in their local communities. We want to put real power in local government. We want to change from a top down governing of the people by central government to a grassroots up government of the people.

All nominations for general election candidates must be received by noon on the seventh day after the writ for the election is issued by the Dáil.

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