Independent Alliance (Ireland)
The Independent Alliance was an Irish political grouping formed in March 2015 by independent politicians. It was founded by Shane Ross and Michael Fitzmaurice. It is not a political party, and has stated that it will not impose any whip on elected members, except where the group has agreed to support a government on confidence motions. Following the 2016 general election their members became part of a minority government with Fine Gael and other non-aligned Independent ministers.
|Founded||30 March 2015|
|Political position||Big tent|
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Prior to the 2016 general election, the alliance counted among its members five independent TDs of the 31st Dáil and two senators of the 24th Seanad; within the Oireachtas, it comprised TDs Shane Ross, Michael Fitzmaurice, Finian McGrath, John Halligan, and Tom Fleming; and senators Feargal Quinn and Gerard Craughwell.
Councillors who were members of the alliance were represented on Donegal, Fingal, Galway, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Sligo, South Dublin and Westmeath County Councils, along with a councillor on Cork City Council.
20 members of the alliance ran as independent candidates at the 2016 general election. Six candidates were elected: Seán Canney, Michael Fitzmaurice, John Halligan, Finian McGrath, Kevin "Boxer" Moran and Shane Ross.
Gerard Craughwell was re-elected as a senator in April 2016 following the general election, but he announced on 29 April that he had left the group due to being excluded from the group's negotiations with Fine Gael on supporting a government. On 18 May, Michael Fitzmaurice, who had been the only Alliance TD not to vote for Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, announced that he was leaving the group.
Following the election of Enda Kenny as Taoiseach the members of the Alliance entered government, with Ross serving as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and McGrath, Halligan and Canney serving as Ministers of State.
In 2017 Canney stepped down to allow for his replacement by Moran as Minister of State for the Office of Public Works. All Alliance ministers retained their positions under Leo Varadkar's government in 2017.
Canney left the Independent Alliance in May 2018, but pledged his continued support for the government.
On 13 January 2020, Moran announced he was leaving the Alliance and would stand as an "outright Independent" in the 2020 general election. On 14 January 2020, after the calling of the 2020 general election, Finian McGrath announced he would not stand for re-election. On 15 January 2020, John Halligan announced he would not stand for re-election, leaving Shane Ross as the sole member of the Alliance. Moran and Ross lost their seats at the 2020 general election, leaving the Alliance with no elected members.
With no policies or whip, and with members from across the right-left political spectrum, the alliance does not have a cohesive ideology. The group's website has set out a list of "principles and priorities" based around general themes of political reform that the alliance has claimed would form a charter for its election candidates. The group regards whips as "a regressive force in Irish politics".
The Independent Alliance is not a registered party, so they appear as non-party on the ballot paper. Their collective results is as follows:
|Election||Seats won||±||Position||First Pref votes||%||Government|
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|1||N/A||88,930||4.2%||Minority FG-Ind Government|
- "Independent Alliance to field up to 20 candidates in general election". The Irish Times. 29 June 2015.
- "Shane Ross (and others) will finally launch the party that's not a party next month". TheJournal.ie. 21 March 2015.
- "Candidates by Party – 2016 General Election – Independent Alliance". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- "Independent Alliance hold party think-in in Athlone". RTÉ News. 19 September 2015.
- O'Connor, Niall (29 April 2016). "Prominent senator quits 'Independent Alliance' due to frustration over lack of involvement in Government formation talks". Irish Independent. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- Gallagher, Páraic (18 May 2016). "Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice quits Independent Alliance". Newstalk FM. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- "Canney announces departure from Independent Alliance". RTÉ News. 4 May 2018.
- "Kevin 'Boxer' Moran to leave Independent Alliance". The Irish Times. 13 January 2020.
- "Disability Minister Finian McGrath makes shock decision not to run in general election". Irish Independent. 14 January 2020.
- "John Halligan retires after 30 years in politics". The Irish Times. 15 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.