Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has joined the newly formed political party, Independent Ireland.
Mr Fitzmaurice will team up with Independent TDs Michael Collins and Richard O’Donoghue, who announced the establishment of the party last November.
Mr Fitzmaurice said he spent the last 12 months weighing up the political landscape and that he was either going to “set up a party or leave politics”.
“Michael and Richard then announced their new party. After extensive negotiations with them, Independent Ireland operatives and consultation with my core team of supporters, I decided that it was best to join forces with Michael and Richard to build something substantial together,” Mr Fitzmaurice said in a statement on Monday.
“Too often independents and new parties fragment into increasingly narrow camps when what is needed is unity, dialogue and occasionally compromise.
“I didn’t want to see that happen here. I believe it is better for voters to have a clear, unambiguous choice at election time. I believe that Independent Ireland can be that choice. We are the party of common sense solutions for this and future generations.”
Mr Collins, leader of Independent Ireland and TD for Cork South-West, said Mr Fitzmaurice’s “integrity and knowledge”, combined with his experience in national politics made him a “fantastic addition” to the party.
Mr O’Donoghue, TD for Limerick, said the party was established to build “a coalition of people and politicians who genuinely want to address the real world issues facing ordinary people across this nation”.
“When it comes to building a party rooted in common sense with the goal of improving the lives of the people of Ireland, I don’t think we could have looked for a better partner than Michael Fitz,” he said.
“His dedication, drive and determination comes second only to his common-sense approach to policy and priorities. We have a job of work ahead of ourselves over the coming months and years to build a party not just for the next election but for future generations, but it is a job that we are happy to take on, and we are confident we can deliver for the people of Ireland.”