Warnock ‘disappointed’ with Independent Alliance

General election candidate Gerry Warnock has distanced himself from the new Shane Ross-led Independent Alliance.

General election candidate Gerry Warnock has distanced himself from the new Shane Ross-led Independent Alliance.

The Alliance, which also includes prominent Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice from Roscommon, was officially launched last week outside Dáil Éireann.

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran from Athlone was named as an Independent Alliance candidate in Longford-Westmeath. However the group has stressed in the past that two candidates could run in the same constituency and Cllr Warnock had indicated that he may run with the Alliance .

Speaking this week Gerry Warnock, who is the new Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, said he had been left disappointed by the group’s decision to refrain from publishing a binding manifesto.

Cllr Warnock said the decision was in contrast to what he had been led to believe following the Alliance’s open meeting back in March in Tullamore.

“I have to say I am a little bit disappointed,” said a clearly disgruntled Cllr Warnock.

“At that meeting it was all good and it all seemed very positive.

“And it seemed a manifesto would be made based around ten core principles that were agreed.”

Cllr Warnock said his previously upbeat attitude towards the Alliance changed last week when Mr Ross admitted there would be no manifesto put forward to the electorate.

Instead, he said while there would be no specific policies, members would have to adhere to 10 “very strong” core principles which include removing politicians of powers in making appointments, reviving rural Ireland, and removing obstacles for women.

Cllr Warnock however, said those assurances did not go far enough.

“I was very much in favour of it,” he said of the manifesto.

“No more than any candidate you want to be able to put something to the people to show them what you are all about.

“It seems to be more about egos and that is something I don’t want to be a part of.”

The Independent Councillor said the fallout, together with the decision of other Independent candidates to enter the general election field, had caused him to think twice about his own bid.

Cllr Warnock conceded the gradual increase of Independent general election candidates had “diluted” his own chances of securing a seat, and he said his recent election as Cathaoirleach had caused him to reevaluate his options.

“I am still very much in the race, but closer the time (of election) I will figure it out and weigh up all the possibilities.

“I don’t want to be a Cathaoirleach with one eye on the election.

“I will make my decision on what I believe is in the best interests of the people,” Cllr Warnock concluded.