Sunday 18 February 2018

De Burca 'quit Greens over failure to get top EU job'


Deirdre De Burca's resignation from the Seanad and the Green Party was driven by her failure to get a top EU post, the party's deputy leader claimed yesterday.

Mary White also accused Ms de Burca of "threatening" John Gormley that she would damage the party if she did not get the job as adviser to Ireland's new EU Commissioner, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.

Ms de Burca, who failed to get elected to Europe last summer, resigned from the Greens and the Seanad last Friday. And she accused party leadership of allowing the Greens to become paralysed as Fianna Fail ran rings around John Gormley and Eamon Ryan.

In a letter to all party members yesterday, Ms White said she was saddened by the departure but claimed Ms de Burca's behaviour has been "deplorable".

Mrs White wrote: "Personal feelings cannot set aside certain key facts surrounding Deirdre's decision to quit; the way she has chosen to present that decision; and the scathing, unfair and totally groundless criticisms she has levelled against Green Party leader John Gormley.

"It is a simple fact that Deirdre's behaviour was driven by her failure to secure a senior EU post in Brussels. It is less known that she threatened John Gormley and her party colleagues that she would set out to damage the party if she did not get that job. But Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn had other plans and she could not see a role for Deirdre de Burca on her team.

"A European Commissioner is totally independent and legally obliged to shun any direction from the former home government."

Mrs White said Ms de Burca had not attended recent parliamentary party meetings and threatened several of her colleagues. "For the past two weeks, she has stayed away from parliamentary party meetings and communicated a number of threats and deadlines to her colleagues. It saddens me to say that I have found her behaviour to be deplorable," she said.

Ms de Burca was unavailable to comment on Mrs White's letter yesterday.

On Friday, in her resignation letter to John Gormley, Ms de Burca said: "I can no longer support the Green Party in government, as I believe that we have gradually abandoned our political values and our integrity and, in many respects, have become no more than an extension of the Fianna Fail party."

Ms de Burca claimed Fianna Fail is "running rings" around the Greens and continues to take advantage of its inexperience. In the letter, she said the party has been "paralysed" by the rejection of several candidates in the local and European elections last year.

Ms de Burca also said she had lost confidence in Mr Gormley, and added that in his role as leader he had done a disservice to the party and its members by allowing a "drift" to occur.

Sunday Independent

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