Opportunity for this cool-headed TD
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.
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.
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.