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The Mayo Green Party

was started in 1994 and is the County Mayo Constituency grouping of the Irish Green Party.

What We Stand For

Party Principles

The Green Party/Comhaontas Glas adopted at its foundation these seven principles by consensus:

 

  • The impact of society on the environment should not be ecologically disruptive.
  • Conservation of resources is vital to a sustainable society.
  • All political, social and economic decisions should be taken at the lowest effective level.
  • Society should be guided by self-reliance and co-operation at all levels.
  • As caretakers of the Earth, we have the responsibility to pass it on in a fit and healthy state.
  • The need for world peace overrides national and commercial interests.
  • The poverty of two-thirds of the world's family demands a redistribution of the world's resources.

These principles were elaborated and expanded in the revised 1997 Constitution.

 

We Are For...

  • More decision-making at Community level.
  • Open government.
  • A basic income for all citizens.
  • Renewable energy and Recycling.
  • Neutral peace-keeping in Northern Ireland.
  • Workers' Co-ops and small family businesses.
  • Emphasis on public transport.
  • Non-violent direct action.

We Are Against...

  • Pollution of air, sea and land.
  • The depopulation of the countryside and over-crowding in the cities.
  • Control of industry by large national and multinational companies.
  • Nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
  • Land and property speculation.
  • Both state and paramilitary violence in Northern Ireland.
  • The exploitation of the third world.
  • Exploitation of animals.
 

party profile


The Emerging Greens

The emergence of Green politics in Ireland first came in the form of social movements protesting against mining, the chemical industry and most significantly against nuclear power. The Green Party did not emerge directly from these movements but rather was initiated by Christopher Fettes, a Dublin teacher. Active in the Vegetarian Society, the Esperanto movement and Friends of the Earth, Fettes became increasingly convinced of the need for a political party that would address Green issues. To achieve this he issued invitations to a meeting to form a Green Party, which was held on 3 December 1981 in the Central Hotel, Dublin. The invitation included a list of proposed aims, including the following:

 

  • "a steady state economy to replace unlimited economic growth"
  • "a non-exploitive but more fruitful relationship with the natural environment"
  • "the provision of a basic income to all, and a decentralised and economically self-sufficient way of life, giving a maximum freedom to individuals and a minimum of power to central government"

Of the 80 people who attended, a majority was in favour of creating a political party, and thus the Ecology Party of Ireland (E.P.I.) was born. A steering committee of 12 was elected and membership was approximately 40 for the first few months. The initial structure of the E.P.I. was conventional, being based on branches like the other Irish political parties. This traditional organisation was in part put forward with political registration in mind. While the E.P.I. was too young for the unexpected general election of February 1982 the steering committee issued some leaflets announcing the party's existence and promising the voters the opportunity of being able to support ecology candidates at the next election. In March the Party held its first convention at the Glencree Reconciliation Centre in Wicklow and it was here that the seven principles of the party were agreed by consensus. These principles still serve the Green Party to the present and are:

 

  • The impact of society on the environment should not be ecologically disruptive.
  • Conservation of resources is vital to a sustainable society.
  • All political, social and economic decisions should be taken at the lowest effective level.
  • Society should be guided by self-reliance and co-operation at all levels.
  • As caretakers of the Earth, we have the responsibility to pass it on in a fit and healthy state.
  • The need for world peace overrides national and commercial interests.
  • The poverty of two thirds of the world's family demands a redistribution of the world's resources.

The E.P.I found itself facing a general election in November 1982, and having already given the commitment mentioned above to contest the next election, the party decided to put up seven candidates. The candidates polled 0,2% of the national vote and an average of 1,3% in the constituencies contested.

Changes

1983 saw the E.P.I. change its name its name to the Green Alliance/Comhaontas Glas, and it was under this title that Christopher Fettes contested the 1984 European election, standing in Dublin. He managed to poll 1,9% of the vote (0,3% nationally). Along with the new name came organisational change. The old structure of the E.P.I. did not correspond to green notions of grassroots democracy, and it was dropped in favour of an alliance of autonomous groups. With some modifications, this is still the basic structure of the party.

The following years' local elections gave the party its first electoral success when Marcus Counihan was elected to Killarney Urban District Council. Overall the Greens won 0,6% of the national vote. This was for 34 candidates, 28 of whom stood in Dublin. Then in 1986, the party experienced a minor split over whether it should be a campaigning movement or concentrate its energies on the electoral process. A few favoured the former and left the party while the remaining majority concentrated on electoral politics. The next electoral test was the 1987 general election where the Party scored 0,4% of the national vote and, although down on their 1985 vote the result was achieved with only 9 candidates.

In 1987 the Party changed its name to the Green Party/Comhaontas Glas to help end public confusion over whether it was a political organisation or not. The new name came just in time for the electoral breakthrough of 1989, when Roger Garland became the Party's first T.D., representing Dublin South. In all the Green Party contested 11 constituencies in the June 1989 general election, 10 in Dublin plus Kildare. The Party also contested the Dublin and Leinster constituencies in the European election held the same day. In the Munster constituencies, the Greens supported the People First candidate, Joe Noonan.

Political Success

The success of Roger Garland was built on with the election of 13 councillors in the June 1991 Local Elections. Four seats were won on Dublin Corporation, six on Dublin Co. Council and one each on Cork Corporation, Wicklow and Kildare Co. Councils. On Dublin Corporation the Greens formed a governing coalition, the Civic Alliance, to run the capital city. Things however did not run entirely smoothly as Councillor Richard Greene resigned from the party early in 1992. An unexpected general election followed in November 1992. Roger Garland lost his Dublin South seat, but this was balanced by the election of Trevor Sargent for Dublin North.

In June 1994 the Party pulled off a major achievement with the election of two MEPs (out of 15) to the European Parliament. Patricia McKenna topped the poll in Dublin with 14,5% of the first preference vote, and Nuala Ahern got 11,8% in Leinster, enough to secure the final seat. Overall the party nationally received 7,9%, putting it in fourth place behind Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Labour Party. The party also made important gains in the Urban District Council elections held the same day. And that same month, the Dublin City Council elected Cllr. John Gormley as the first Green Lord Mayor of Dublin.

These successes continued with the Cork bye-elections in October 1994, where Cllr. Dan Boyle, although failing to gain a seat, received 16% of the poll in Cork South Central. In May 1997 John Gormley joined Trevor Sargent in the Dáil where he was elected for Dublin South East after enduring a week-long marathon count to defeat Michael McDowell of the PDs by twenty-seven votes.

An even greater achievement was recorded in the 1999 European Elections when Patricia McKenna and Nuala Ahern successfully defended their European Parliament seats. Patricia McKenna took the third seat in Dublin with 12.7% and Nuala Ahern did even better taking the second seat in Leinster with 13.78%. The 1999 Local Election Results were a mixed bag. Although the Party's vote, at 2.4% nationally, remained the same as 1991, the figures failed to produce the seats expected. There were some notable successes though. Mary White, with an excellent 23%, topped the poll ahead of Fianna Fail in Borris, Carlow as did Eamon Ryan in Rathmines, Dublin and Paul Gogarty in Lucan, County Dublin.
But the major success were the National elections of 2002, where the Party saw the number of MPs rise to 6 in the National Parliament.

To be continued...............


current government

National Government: Fianna Fail and Green Party

Other Parties Represented in National Parliament: Fine Gael, Labour, Sinn Fein, Independents,


 


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