A new political group has been launched by former Solidarity TD Paul Murphy.
The group, known as Rise – standing for Radical, Internationalist, Socialist and Environmentalist – wants to help build a new left-leaning movement in Irish society.
Rise said that after a “year-long debate within the Socialist Party”, members decided to leave and establish a new democratic socialist group, but will not be registering as a political party.
Mr Murphy said he is no longer part of the Socialist Party but is still a member of the wider Solidarity-People Before Profit group.
He acknowledged that splintering the left wing in Ireland, which has seen significant political differences over the years, could be “demoralising”.
“No one wants to see division among the left,” Mr Murphy said on Monday at the group’s launch at Buswells Hotel in Dublin.
“We’re a definite, distinct Marxist trend that seeks to contribute to the building of a broader left.
“We’re aiming in launching a new socialist group to build a broader and more co-operative left. That starts with continuing co-operation with the Socialist Party who are still our friends and our comrades.
“As an immediate, small and concrete step, we would be in favour of the left standing an agreed slate of candidates in the upcoming general by-elections but we’re not proposing that any of our members would stand.”
Mr Murphy will still operate under the Solidarity-People Before Profit parliamentary grouping, and would campaign under the same banner with Rise as “a third component” in the group.
He added that no other elected representative had left the Socialist Party with him, and he is the party’s sole elected representative for now.
The group is made up of trade union, feminist, housing and abortion activists, and will be fielding candidates for any upcoming general election.
Mr Murphy added that the party would be open to coalitions with parties like Sinn Fein and the Green Party on issues on which they agree, like housing.
Priorities for the group in the immediate future will be preparing to launch a Green New Deal with socialist policies for Ireland, including free, frequent and green public transport, a rapid transition to green energy, a green jobs programme, a four-day working week and quality public housing.