CLARE County Councillor Róisín Garvey was in Dublin last Thursday, as part of a Green party group working on the preparation of a programme for Government with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
The three-person Green team at the talks also included Deputies Malcolm Noonan and Marc Ó Cathasaigh. Fine Gael were represented by Simon Coveney, Michael Ring and Hildegard Naughton and Fianna Fáil’s team consisted of Dara Calleary and Anne Rabbitte.
“Fianna Fáil were quite passive, I would say. Their document was quite light. There was very little content in it, whereas Fine Gael and the Greens had very substantial documents. It was only a two-hour meeting. I’d like to have seen another two-hour meeting but what happens is that it is done over emails,” she said.
“While we were in the room, we got to dictate wording. for instance, 20% remote working. Fine Gael wanted it to be an ultimate target but I argued with Simon Coveney that it should be a bare minimum. I said that 20% is just a day a
week and if you could do a day a week, the chances are you could do two or three. He wouldn’t go to 40% but I got them to put in the wording ‘at least 20%’,” she said of the negotiations.
It looks very likely that the Green party will end up in power and with Councillor Garvey playing a prominent role in the party, would she like to bring her career to the next level, potentially becoming a senator? “I don’t know. I’m enjoying being a councillor and I feel like I’m being quite productive. “The senator role hasn’t been put to me and if it was, the first thing I’d have to find out was could I continue to get things done for people in Clare. I’d have to research the role more.
“I haven’t thought that much about it. People mightn’t believe that but I have been really busy on the ground throughout the Covid. I’m only in the council for a year, I’m figuring out how things work. There’s no real in-service and the more I learn, the more I can get done for people. I don’t know about being a senator. It would come down to whether I felt I could get as much done for Clare as a senator as I could as a councillor,” Councillor Garvey concluded.