Friday 24 March 2017

Grassroots play it safe at conference

Aine Kerr Political Correspondent

GREEN Party grassroots have tabled a list of hard-hitting demands ahead of this weekend's party conference -- but have steered clear of their usual contentious issues.

Having shed large swathes of its rebellious wing, the list of motions contains no references to an exit strategy from Government, or a future walkout, or the need to stand up to Fianna Fail or the necessity to negotiate more concessions from their senior coalition partners.

Such tricky issues would have previously dominated conferences, but the resignations of vocal members in counties Donegal, Clare, Kerry and Mayo have paved the way for a less combative party conference this weekend.

Some of the party's former rebels have established the Independent Green Party -- making life a lot quieter for the leadership over the next three days at the annual conference, to be held in Waterford.

Of the motions penned for debate, the most controversial is likely to prove Dublin Central and Dublin North West's call for the cancellation of the Green Party's much sought-after Metro North project.

The constituency branch, which would actually benefit from the project, argues that the money should be used to pay for a "world-class public bus service for the entire country".

Expelled

A separate motion from the Cork South Central Greens on the recent controversy over counterfeit passports states that when the culprits are caught, the ambassador of their country should be expelled from Ireland.

Meanwhile, Cork South West believes the Green Party should take a leadership role in separating state and church, by eliminating the requirement for primary school teachers to teach religion.

Irish Independent

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