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Senator Róisín Garvey who hosted an Active Travel briefing with Minister for Transport Éamon Ryan.

“We won’t be counting our chickens”

ON Wednesday morning, Councillor Róisín Garvey was gearing up to promote the benefits of going into government to her party colleagues.

“The last phase is the most important one. The members have to vote and in the Green Party, it requires two-thirds, so we won’t be counting our chickens,” she said.

The fact that such a high threshold must be passed means that the formation of a new government involving the Greens is still quite uncertain.

Councillor Garvey said she wants the party to go into government but doesn’t know how strong internal opposition may be. “They have been very vocal, the people against it, but how many of them there are, I don’t know.

“The national media have given loads of coverage to the ones against it in our party but I can’t surmise from that how many are against it.”

The Clare Greens held an online meeting on Tuesday evening, with four of the party’s TDs attending, along with approximately 35 local members. “A lot of people weren’t saying straight out what they were doing. A few were, but those who were not supporting it weren’t coming up with great alternatives.

“I think it’s a good Programme for Government and we have 12 TDs, so they should go ahead and get stuck in. I know the Programme for Government is a bit vague but it was pulled together in five weeks,” Councillor Garvey claimed.

“There are a lot of things there that members should be very happy with, on Shannon LNG and on direct provision. I actually think it’s a good programme for government overall and not just because of the Green input.”

She feels that the Green Party deserves credit for being the only small party to seriously engage on the formation of a coalition.

On a local level, she expects the Green membership probably will endorse entering Government and feels that having made much of the importance of fast action on climate, the party can’t credibly opt out.

“If we don’t go in, are the Green Party saying we’re going to wait five years, even though we’re saying we only have 10 to sort it all out?”

As a relatively high-profile county councillor from a rural area, what would she say to taking a Seanad seat, if one was offered in the coming weeks?

“We have to get the Programme for Government passed, so I’m going to focus on that for now.

“On the Seanad, it would be a massive honour but I don’t know why they would pick me ahead of other people. Time will tell. We have to get this programme over the line first.”

Owen Ryan

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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