Ex-Sinn Fein TD Peadar Tóibín names new party ‘Aontú’ or ‘unity’

Ex-Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin
Ex-Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin
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Former Sinn Fein TD Peadar Tóibín is to name his new all-Ireland political party Aontú, which means ‘unity’ in Irish.

Mr Tóibín resigned from Sinn Fein last year over the party’s support for liberalising abortion legislation in the Republic.

“Aontú means unity and consent,” Mr Tóibín said. “We seek the unity of Irish people north and south and to build an Ireland for everyone - Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter in the tradition of the United Irishmen of 1798.”

“We’ll seek to build an all-Ireland economy to mitigate the worst effects of Brexit, economic justice for all and to protect the right to life,” he told the Irish Times

Some 1,400 people have signed up to join the new party.

In recent weeks he has organised recruitment meetings in Maghera, Co Londonderry, Omagh, Newry, Belfast and one in Armagh on February 4.

Earlier this month Mr Tóibín told the News Letter that he hopes to have a total of seven Sinn Fein or SDLP councillors defecting to his party in time for the local government elections in May.

“We hope to be standing about 10-15 candidates in the [NI] local government elections in May,” he told the News Letter.

Martin McGuinness’ brother Declan McGuinness has officially signed up and is “interested” in standing for election, while ex-Sinn Fein councillors Francie and Ann Brolly are also thinking of standing, he said.

Co Tyrone SDLP councillor Rosemarie Shields has confirmed she is defecting to the new party.