Friday 22 September 2017

We won't be wiped out like PDs, insist Greens

ine Kerr Political Correspondent

THE Greens have denied they are facing a wipeout at the next General Election and claim they won't end up like the extinct Progressive Democrats.

The Greens have been reduced to just three council seats and are attracting just 3pc support in the opinion polls, but party leader John Gormley said the Greens would have seats in the Dail after the next General Election.

"We're not like the PDs. People make that comparison and it's misplaced because the PDs were a collection of individuals who had already been in politics and perhaps for their own opportunistic reasons decided they were going to go their separate ways," Mr Gormley said at the end of his party's think-in in Co Carlow.

"That won't happen with the Green Party."

And he insisted the junior coalition partners would have seats in the Dail after the next election.

He failed, however, to predict how many of its six Dail seats it would still hold.

At the moment, only Communications Minister Eamon Ryan and backbencher Trevor Sargent, who resigned his junior ministerial position, are viewed as seat certainties.

Mr Gormley himself could struggle to hold his seat in Dublin South, where the Poolbeg incinerator issue continues to dominate and where many high-profile TDs have lost their seats in the past.

"We will go on. We are a vibrant party and we are a party that knows what we're about," Mr Gormley said.

And he claimed the Greens would "certainly exist" in future, regardless of election results.

The public will appreciate that the Greens came into Government during unprecedented times and made difficult decisions, the Green Party leader said.

Determination

The party has shown it has the determination to make difficult decisions, he added.

The Greens now hope to get a directly elected lord mayor and to introduce a ban on corporate donations pushed through in the next Dail term.

The two issues, which feature in the agreed Programme for Government, follow the Green Party's struggle to get a ban on stag hunting introduced during the last Dail term.

Mr Gormley conceded there had been tensions "from time to time" with Fianna Fail but all issues had been worked through.

The Green Party leader said he was not aware of any difficulties within Fianna Fail on his proposals to ban corporate donations.

"I hope it can go through and we can finally break the link between big business and politics," he said.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News