Ex-Sinn Fein TD set to visit Omagh in bid to promote his new party
A former Sinn Fein TD who broke with the party over its stance on abortion will bring his new all-Ireland movement to Northern Ireland next week.
Meath West deputy Peadar Toibin (44) was suspended by the party in October last year, resigning the following month.
The Drogheda-born TD is now attempting to mobilise support for a new all-Ireland nationalist political party.
He will bring his message to Northern Ireland at a public meeting scheduled for next Wednesday at the Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Co Tyrone.
He is heavily critical of existing Irish nationalist parties, describing the SDLP - currently in merger talks with Fianna Fail - as "disintegrating and rudderless," and has said that the 1998 Good Friday Agreement is "no longer functional".
"The Good Friday Agreement was a landmark agreement. It became the basis of what seemed like an impossible peace," he said.
"However, it was created when there was a unionist majority and before the spectre of Brexit. Nobody can claim that the institutions created under it are in any way functional."
Mr Toibin claims his movement is attracting considerable support.
"We have had an avalanche of support in the first four weeks of our existence - 1,400 people have signed up," he said.
Mr Toibin said he is convinced that many members and elected representatives of Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and the SDLP are gathering votes for parties that are actually working against their core values.
"They are working for leaderships that are going in the opposite direction to them," said Mr Toibin.
"Many of these members realise they're in the wrong parties.
"Many feel that due to tradition and friendships that it would be hard to leave.
"But the truth is by staying, they are part of the problem and are giving licence to their leaderships to damage their values."