Party Of The Month Irish Greens
Here we present every month one of our parties . This month's "party of the month" is the Green Party of Ireland. General elections take place on 25 February in Ireland, so it is a perfect time to take a closer look at the Green Party.
Currently the Green Party is campaigning as it has never campaigned before. Elections for the Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas, the Irish parliament, will take place on Friday 25 February. 165 of the 166 Teachtaí Dála, members of the Lower House, will be elected in 43 parliamentary constituencies throughout Ireland. The Ceann Comhairle, the Chairman of the Lower House, is automatically re-elected.
The elections, which were supposed to take place in 2012, were brought forward because of the financial crisis that struck very hard in Ireland and the reaction of the government to the crisis.
Greens in Government
The Green Party of Ireland entered the government in June 2007. This government, led by Prime Minister ( Taoiseach ) Bertie Ahern, was composed of Ahern's liberal-conservative party Fianna Fáil, the Green Party, and the minor conservative-liberal Progressive Democrats. Later Ahern was replaced by Brian Cowen. Because of c ontinuing doubts, the lack of communication and the breakdown in trust the Greens could no longer continue to remain in government and broke up the coalition.
Greens get things done
Although Ireland was and is facing some heavy austerity measures, the Greens revised budget cuts to safeguard education, and protected spending on Overseas Development Aid and the arts sector.
The Greens also made Ireland more energy efficient through retrofitting, and incentives to switch to greener cars; the Cycle to Work scheme was introduced, funding for a new metro line was guaranteed, and the electricity generated from wind power was doubled; 20,000 new green jobs were created in Ireland.
The Greens also tried to make the Irish society a more equal and fairer society. Civil partnerships, providing legal protection for same-sex couples, were introduced and a Planning Bill to end reckless development and speculative property bubbles was brought in.
Find out everything about the results of more than 3 years Greens in government
Ready for a changed Ireland
The Greens are heading towards the elections with an appealing package of plans for sustainable recovery and job creation . This package aims at a wholesale transformation of the Irish economy. The work already started in Government, and Green policies have delivered over 20,000 jobs in the face of the recession. Going green will help the farmers, foresters and those in the tourist industry. (Read the plan here)
The Irish Greens are realistic, and realise that Ireland and the Irish people will be paying in some form or another for a number of years to come due to the financial crisis and the banking collapse. The Greens want to clear with the Irish people that the primary budgetary deficit (that is, the difference between what we earn and what we spend) must be bridged. Therefore they have presented a Green plan to tackle the deficit.
The Green Party, how it all started
The emergence of Green politics in Ireland first came in the form of social movements protesting against mining, the chemical industry and most significantly against nuclear power. The Green Party did not emerge directly from these movements but rather was initiated by Christopher Fettes, a Dublin teacher. Active in the Vegetarian Society, the Esperanto movement and Friends of the Earth, Fettes became increasingly convinced of the need for a political party which would address Green issues.
To achieve this aim, Fettes issued invitations to a meeting to form a Green Party, which was held on 3 December, 1981 in the Central Hotel, Dublin. The invitation included a list of proposed aims, including:
a steady state economy to replace unlimited economic growth,
a non-exploitive but more fruitful relationship with the natural environment
the provision of a basic income to all
a decentralised and economically self-sufficient way of life, giving a maximum of freedom to individuals
and a minimum of power to central government.
Of the 80 people who attended, a majority were in favour of creating a political party, and the Ecology Party of Ireland, (EPI) was born.
The Green Party of Ireland first contested in the general elections in 1982, calling itself Ecology Party back then. They gained 0,2% of the votes in this elections. In 1984 they contested in the European Elections for the first time under under the current name.
The party won its first seat in parliament in 1989 and the first 2 seats in the European Parliament in 1994. At the general election of 2002 the Greens broke trough getting 6 people elected to the Dáil with 4% of the national vote. In 2007 the party kept its 6 seats and a fter negotiations the Party entered coalition government. 3 Green ministers were appointed: John Gormley was appointed Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Eamon Ryan was appointed Minister for Communications Energy and Natural resources; and Trevor Sargent was appointed Minister of State for Food and Horticulture.
Facts & Figures
Founded in: 1981
Party Leader: John Gormley
Last elections results: 4,7% - 6 seats out of 166 (general elections, 2007)
1,9% - no seats (European elections, 2009)
Green Party of Ireland on the net
Copyright pictures: Green Party