Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire vows to deliver on climate

Published by Shamim Malekmian on

February 10th, 2020

The first Sinn Fein TD elected to the new Dail has vowed to deliver his party’s green promises for the people of Cork.

In a landmark shark-up to the Irish political landscape, Sinn Fein looks set to get the poplar vote across all working age demographics and rake in one-quarter of all first preference votes.

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire was the first candidate to gain from the tsunami of votes coming in for the party, taking almost 25 per cent of first preference votes in Cork South-Central. He came in well ahead of Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin and the outgoing Tánaiste Simon Coveney of Fine Gael.

Speaking to The Green News, Mr Ó Laoghaire said that retrofitting and the green transformation of public transport are on top of his eco-priorities.

“The climate crisis is a major challenge, we have to tackle it or we would face the consequences,” Mr Ó Laoghaire said. “This is an opportunity for us to create a new type of economy, can create potentials that way.”

Mr Ó Laoghaire said that pollution from out fossil-fuel-reliant transport system is one of our most significant challenges, and the system must drastically change.

“We keep piling more and more cars onto the road, we need to invest in a significant amount in transforming the public transport system,” he said. “Ultimately we can’t continue like this.”

In their party manifesto Sinn Féin Ireland describes tackling climate change and fighting for climate justice a “priority” necessary to stop “bankers and corporate investors” from pursuing their lucrative, yet planet-killing agendas.

“They will be concerned with only one thing – how to make a buck out of the crisis. That is what they do, and that is killing our planet,” the document states.

When it comes to carbon tax, Sinn Féin has noted a sound of alarm, arguing that such a strategy will hit the hardest those who can least afford it.

The party argues that a carbon tax would contribute to poverty and may lead to the regression of some middle-class families while making the working-class weaker.

The party’s manifesto states that it is against any new project “that will lock us into fossil fuel use for decades” and is against the importation of fracked gas.

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Shamim Malekmian

Shamim is a Senior Reporter at The Green News and a contributing writer to the Irish Examiner, Cork Evening Echo and the Dublin Inquirer.