Wednesday 7 December 2016

Opportunity for this cool-headed TD

ine Kerr Political Correspondent

Published 24/03/2010 | 05:00

THE lone female voice in the high ranks of the Green Party is famed for the unique car she drives around her beloved constituency.

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After all, it is run on chip oil, is luminous green and yellow in colour and features a large picture of the ever-smiling Mary White.

Now the Green Party deputy leader has become famed for much more among her constituents: she is Carlow's first minister in 30 years and the first female minister to come from its quarters.

Having been born into a literary household in Bray, Co Wicklow, attending boarding school in Waterford, debating in Trinity College, and backpacking across Asia, the Green Party's deputy leader can lay claim to a varied and colourful life.

In 1989, the countryside enthusiast got her first taste of political campaigning after becoming involved in an anti-mining campaign.

Despite repeated attempts by the Greens to have her join their ranks, it was not until 1996 that she was convinced to enter the political arena.

Having held a council seat in Carlow since 1999, there was still considerable surprise when she landed a coveted seat in 2007 and became the party's first rurally elected Green TD.

Approach

In surmising her approach to politics, she talks of the need for a "cool head" and a "warm heart". Like all her fellow Greens, Ms White's seat has been singled out for a seat gain by Fine Gael.

But with the power and authority that comes with being a Government minister of State, the Green Party deputy leader now has a massive opportunity to save her seat while talking up the opportunities she can offer Carlow as its first minister in three decades.

Irish Independent

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