Christian Solidarity Party
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The Christian Solidarity Party (Irish: Comhar Críostaí) is an unregistered minor political party in the Republic of Ireland. It has no representation at local or national level. Founded in 1991 as the Christian Principles Party, it stood candidates in the 1991 local elections, it was reformed as the Christian Centrist Party and ran candidates in the 1992 general election receiving 0.2% of first preference votes. It was renamed in 1994 to incorporate the word "Solidarity" following a mutual pledge of support between the party and the conservative advocacy group, Family Solidarity. Its first candidate was Catherine Kelly, contesting the 1994 Cork South-Central by-election, who received 1,704 (4.0%) first preference votes. The CSP took part in the 1997 general election and has contested each General Election, and a number of other by-elections since then. It also fielded candidates in Local and European Parliament elections since its foundation.
|Headquarters||14 North Frederick Street, Dublin 1|
In the 2013 Meath East by-election the CSP supported the Direct Democracy Ireland candidate Ben Gilroy taking out newspaper adverts to support him, previously some CSP candidates included DDI on their election literature.
In 2013 the party lobbied the Standards in Public Office to Committee against the mandatory requirement for political parties accounts to be audited by an external body, claiming this would be a very high expense for a small party, where as parties represented in the Dáil have access to public funds for this. In January 2014 the party's entry in the official register of political parties was cancelled,
In 2015, The Christian Solidarity party was registered as a third party with the Standards in Public Office, to receive donations for political purposes.
It advocates an orthodox version of Catholic social teaching, and its main proposals are based upon traditional, and unequivocal, pro-life natalism. The party promotes traditional family values and campaigns against marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. The Party made written and oral submissions to various Oireachtas committees regarding proposed legislation on such family and social issues, as well as on other issues such as Seanad reform. The party describes itself as follows:
The Christian Solidarity Party is dedicated to the causes of Life, the Family and the Community. The CSP promotes policies that safeguard the value of human life from conception to natural death, that support the position of the family as the fundamental unit group of society, and that allow human communities to flourish in a manner consistent with human dignity.
Richard Greene, its former leader, stepped down on 13 December 2012. Gerard Casey, who was the founder and led the party initially, is no longer active. Paul O'Loughlin, was leader and Dublin Central candidate. O'Loughlin's predecessor was Cathal Loftus. Daire Fitzgerald replaced Paul O'Loughlin on 21 November 2016.
2014 Local ElectionsEdit
Although not on the official list of parties, the then party leader Commandant Cathal Ashbourne Loftus ran as a non-party candidate in the 2014 local elections in the Ashbourne ward, using the Christian Solidarity logo on his election leaflets.
2011 general electionEdit
- Paul O'Loughlin (Dublin Central)
- Michael Larkin (Dublin North-West)
- Jane Murphy (Dublin South)
- Colm Callanan (Dublin South-Central)
- Daire Fitzgerald (Dún Laoghaire)
- Conor O'Donoghue (Limerick City)
- Manus MacMeanmain (Meath West)
- Harry Rea (Cork North-Central)
At the party's election launch news conference conducted by then leader, Richard Greene stated that the party will campaign on a pro-life and what it calls a 'Euro-Realist' platform and that it will oppose making the poor pay for the economic crisis.
The party's Meath West candidate, Manus MacMeanmain (who polled 0.6% of first preference votes) was reportedly unhappy that the Christian Solidarity Party's logo was not present on the ballot paper, and claimed that the image that was used looked like "a bunch of nuts".
The party polled 0.1% of the votes and no deposits were saved.
2009 local electionsEdit
For the 2009 local elections, they fielded candidates in 13 constituencies. They were:
- Paul O'Loughlin (North Inner City, Dublin City Council)
- Clare Flynn (Ballinasloe, Galway County Council)
- Conor O'Donoghue (Limerick City Council North)
- Colm Callanan (Crumlin-Kimmage, Dublin City Council. 5 LEAs for Laois County Council: Borris-in-Ossory, Emo, Luggacurran, Mountmellick, Portlaoise and 4 LEAs for Offaly County Council: Birr, Edenderry, Ferbane and Tullamore)
None were elected, and none received their election expenses.
2007 general electionEdit
The CSP ran seven candidates - two women and five men - in the 2007 election. None were successful and all lost their deposits. Party leader Cathal Loftus received 210 votes in Dublin North, 0.38% of the votes and came last out of eight candidates. Paul O'Loughlin, the party's best-performing candidate, who had recently appeared on the party's party election broadcast, scored just 260 votes in Dublin Central, with 0.75% of the vote. The party as a whole scored 0.06% of the total national vote. The party candidates included:
- Mary Doherty (Donegal North-East)
- Clare Flynn (Galway East)
- Paul O'Loughlin (Dublin Central)
- Colm Callanan (Dublin Mid-West)
- Michael Redmond (Dublin South-Central)
- Conor O'Donoghue (Limerick East)
None were elected.
2004 European Parliament electionEdit
In the 2004 European Parliament election, the CSP announced it had no plans to run, but later announced Barry Despard as a candidate. He came ninth of twelve candidates in the Dublin constituency with 5,352 first-preference votes, or 1.3% of the valid poll.
2002 general electionEdit
In the 2002 general election, the CSP ran 19 candidates, between the ages of 22 and 82. Some ran in more than one constituency. They spent €12,284.71 on the campaign. The party polled 0.26% of the vote. No candidates were elected, all losing their deposits.
- Tony Smith, Cavan–Monaghan - 358 votes
- Derek J Whelan, Clare - 176 votes
- Patrick Manning, Cork East - 187 votes
- Gerry Duffy, Cork North-Central - 215 votes
- Gerry Duffy, Cork North-West - 383 votes
- Paul O'Loughlin, Dublin Central - 366 votes
- Colm Callanan, Dublin Mid-West - 107 votes
- David Walshe, Dublin North - 247 votes
- Michael Larkin Dublin North-West - 154 votes
- Darragh O'Reilly Dublin South-West - 760 votes
- John Smyth, Dublin West - 134 votes
- Michael Redmond, Dún Laoghaire - 265 votes
- Manus MacMeanmain, Galway East - 93 votes
- Michael Redmond, Laois–Offaly - 142 votes
- Conor O'Donoghue, Limerick East - 86 votes
- Patrick O'Riordan, Limerick West - 144 votes
- Brian Lenehan, Longford–Roscommon - 80 votes
- Michael Maguire, Louth - 79 votes
- Michael Redmond, Meath - 180 votes
- John Lacken, Sligo–Leitrim - 166 votes
- Michael Larkin, Tipperary South - 120 votes
- Patrick Walsh, Westmeath - 126 votes
- Michael O'Connor Wexford - 173 votes
1999 European Parliament electionEdit
In the 1999 European Parliament election, party leader Gerard Casey contested the Dublin constituency. He finished 10th out of 13 candidates with 9,425 first preference votes (3.36%). He lost his deposit.
1997 general electionEdit
At the 1997 general election, the CSP fielded 8 candidates and polled 0.5% of the vote. No candidates were elected. All lost their deposits.
- Gene Flood, Cavan–Monaghan - 1,024 votes (1.7%)
- Larry McGinn, Cavan–Monaghan - 1,001 votes (1.7%)
- Joe Aston, Clare - 499 votes (1.1%)
- Eddie Mullins, Cork North-Central - 777 votes (1.8%)
- Angela Keaveney, Dublin North - 666 votes (1.6%)
- Gerard Casey, Dún Laoghaire - 2,000 votes (3.7%)
- Brian Curran, Meath - 1,031 votes (1.8%)
- John Lacken, Sligo–Leitrim - 1,359 votes (3.0%)
- 2009 Dublin Central by-election - Paul O'Loughlin - 203 votes (0.7%)
- 2000 Tipperary South by-election - Mary Heaney - 784 votes (2.6%)
- 1999 Dublin South-Central by-election - Manus MacMeanmain - 399 votes (2.0%)
- 1998 Dublin North by-election - Angela Keaveney - 565 votes (1.7%)
- 1996 Dublin West by-election - Gerard Casey 768 votes (2.7%)
- 1994 Cork South-Central by-election - Catherine Kelly 1,704 votes (4.0%)
The Christian Solidarity Party campaigned against both Lisbon Treaty referendums. The party also made submissions to the Oireachtas committee on Ireland's future in Europe after the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by the first vote. Some members participated in the Cóir campaign and in other anti-Lisbon treaty campaigns.
Children's Rights ReferendumEdit
The party claimed that the constitutional amendment would give too much power and responsibility to the State with regard to children, with Richard Greene stating that "[t]he real agenda is to dismantle parents’ authority to protect their children, especially teenagers, and to increase State control...it could see the law deciding, for example, how far parents may monitor text messages or internet use to protect their children from bullying".
Marriage Equality Referendum 2015Edit
Christian Solidarity/Comhar Críostaí was registered as "approved body" to monitor postal voting and vote counting, with Cathal 'Ashbourne' Loftus designated as its officer, for the 2015 Same-sex marriage referendum.
Abortion Referendum 2018Edit
The party and its members campaigned to retain the 8th amendment in the 2018 abortion referendum.
General election resultsEdit
|Election||Seats won||Position||First Pref votes||%||Government||Leader|
0 / 166
|10||8,357||0.5%||No seats||Gerard Casey|
0 / 158
|8||4,741||0.3%||No seats||Gerard Casey|
0 / 158
|10||1,705||0.8%||No seats||Cathal Loftus|
0 / 158
|11||2,102||0.1%||No seats||Richard Greene|
- "People Comhar Críostaí". Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
- Catherine Kelly Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Draft Political Party Accounts Archived 21 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine Letter to the Standards in Public Office, 9 September 2013
- "ELECTORAL ACTS 1992 AND 2012 Register of Political Parties" (PDF). Iris Oifigiúil. 14 January 2014. p. 80.
- "Register of Political Parties in Ireland". Houses of the Oireachtas. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- Radio Interview with Paul O'Loughlin of the Christian Solidarity Party Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine www.tallyman.ie, 2010
- Christian Solidarity Party Letter to TD's and Senators regarding the Civil Partnership Bill, Government Documents, 30 October 2009
- Christian Solidarity Submission The All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution, www.constitution.ie, 21 April 2005
- REPORT on SEANAD REFORM Archived 5 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine - SEANAD ÉIREANN COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE AND PRIVILEGES SUB-COMMITTEE ON SEANAD REFORM, www.oireachtas.ie, 19 April 2004
- "Group to protest closure of Ireland's embassy in Vatican". BreakingNews.ie. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- Richard Greene Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Cathal Loftus Election Leaflet Local Elections 2014.
- 2011 Candidates Archived 26 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine Christian Solidarity Party Website
- Paul O'Loughlin Candidate History - http://www.electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=4778
- Michael Larkin Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Jane Murphy Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Colm Callanan Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Daire Fitzgerald Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Conor O'Donoghue Candidate History - http://www.electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=4830
- Manus MacMeanmain Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Harry Rea Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- RTE News Election tracker Thursday 17 February 2011.
- Christian Solidarity : Campaign focuses on sovereignty by Marie O'Halloran Irish Times, Friday 19 February 2011.
- Dervan, Cathal (26 February 2011). "Part 1:Election diary from Ireland". Irish Central. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- "@RTEmeathWEST". RTÉ Live Election Tracker. RTÉ News. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- Clare Flynn Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Irish Times: Local election candidates
- Mary Doherty Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Michael Redmond Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Elections Ireland: 30th Dáil Candidates
- Barry Despard Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Tony Smith Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Derek Whelan Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Patrick Manning Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Gerry Duffy Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- David Walshe Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Darragh O'Reilly Candidate History - http://www.electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=4799
- John Smyth Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Patrick O'Riordan Candidate History - http://www.electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=4833
- Brian Lenehan Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Michael Maguire Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- John Lacken Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Patrick Walsh Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Michael O'Connor Candidate History - http://www.electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=8793
- Gerard Casey Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Gene Flood Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Larry McGinn Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Joe Aston Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Eddie Mullins Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Angela Keaveney Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Brian Curran Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Mary Heaney Candidate History. electionsireland.org
- Page 13, Advert We Say Vote No to Lisbon[permanent dead link] www.alive.ie, 20 September 2009.
- "Group begins campaign against Children's Referendum". RTÉ News. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- Minihan, Mary (7 November 2012). "'No' campaign warns on referendum". Irish Times. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "List Of Bodies As Approved Bodies For The Purpose Of The Referendums On The Thirty-Fourth And Thirty-Fifth Proposed Amendments Of The Constitution" (PDF). Irish Oifigiúil. Dublin: Government of Ireland. 24 April 2015. p. 753. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
- Referendum Commission – Approved Bodies