I will form new party if Fianna Fáil will not let me join, says Casey

Presidential candidate Peter Casey says he plans to set up a new party if he is prevented from joining Fianna Fáil.

The Derry businessman finished second behind Michael D Higgins in the race for Áras an Uachtaráin.

Mr Casey was initially an outside contender in the presidential election, but his vote surged late in the campaign following critical comments about the Travelling community and welfare recipients.

His support, which had been hovering around 1% in some opinion polls prior to the contentious remarks, rocketed to 23% in the election to secure an unexpected second place finish behind incumbent Mr Higgins, who romped home for a second term with more than 55% of the vote.

After the election result, Mr Casey said he plans to join Fianna Fáil and run as a candidate in Donegal at the next general election.

I intend to run in the next general election in Donegal

He told the Sunday Independent: “I am joining Fianna Fáil.

“I intend to run in the next general election in Donegal.

“And I am going to become a Fianna Fáil TD – with a view to becoming Taoiseach at the head of a renewed and revitalised Fianna Fáil.”

However a Fianna Fáil spokesman said: “Mr Casey made clear during the campaign that he has zero allegiance to Fianna Fáil; we will not be facilitating any personal crusades of his.”

In response Mr Casey, speaking on RTE’s Today with Miriam show, said he would set up a new party if Fianna Fáil refused to admit him as a member.

“They definitely need someone like Peter Casey to shake it up,” he said.

“I’m 100% serious. If the consensus after talking to them is they don’t want me, I’ll form a new party and I’ll call it the New Fianna Fáil.”

- Press Association

Most Read in Ireland