Why the Green Party?
I joined the Green Party in 2009 because of its history of honesty and principles. Because of people like Trevor Sargent and his record of standing up to the culture of corruption in planning.
I believe in green politics: politics that aims for a sustainable society rooted in environmentalism, non-violence, social justice and grassroots democracy. For me, I passionately believe that that needs to be seen in the round: care for the environment is very shallow if you do not care for people.
Since the party’s electoral wipe-out in 2011, I’ve been very proud to have played a part it its rebirth as a stronger, broader and wiser party. In 2014, I was elected secretary of the Cork Greens. I’m now the group’s communications officer. I’ve led development of the party’s political reform policy and now serve as the national spokesperson on political reform.
I believe that in time the 2011 wipe out will be seen as test from which the party has grown stronger, more focused and broader.
Greens in government
Every party that enters government blames the decisions of previous administrations for the mess they inherited. No party can claim to have inherited a mess as big as the Green Party inherited in 2007.
Years of (a now debunked) economic ideology had built up a cataclysm waiting to happen. The effects of that cataclysm is still working its way through our society and economy almost a decade on.
Despite that the Green Party delivered a lot in government. Civil partnership laid the roadway to marriage equality. Outdated and undemocratic planning laws were reformed. Ireland doubled the amount of wind energy on the national grid.
The Green Party insisted on a cost-effective inquiry into the banking collapse, the introduction of carbon taxes, a crackdown on junk food advertising targeting children. We increased and ring-fenced funding for the homeless, drove through protection for mortgage holders, improved animal and wildlife protection, scrapped the e-voting machines, and much more.
Much of this good work has since been undone by Fine Gael and Labour, such as the planned reforms of local government.