Green vote will make other parties wake up, says O’Sullivan

Published by Shamim Malekmian on

May 26th, 2019

MEP hopeful Grace O’Sullivan has said that the surge in support for the Green Party will force other politicians to wake up to the climate and biodiversity crisis.

The Senator and European election hopeful told The Green News this evening that biodiversity loss had influenced the green shift among voters.

“It is the biodiversity loss that is making people concerned, and I think it is also due to the work of all the movements such as Extinction Rebellion and climate strikers,” she said.

The Waterford-native is in with a strong shot of taking a European seat in the South constituency, with Saoirse McHugh also hopeful in the
Midlands–North-West region.

Councillor Ciaran Cuffe looks set to take almost 25 per cent of the MEP vote in Dublin and has already secured his local seat in Dublin City Council.

Several of the elected Green Councillors in Dublin Photo: The Green Party

‘Greenwashing must go’

Ms O’Sullivan said that she is “hopeful” she will also get an opportunity to influence change at an EU level while her “green colleagues” work to implement environmental policies at a local level across the country.

Ms O’Sullivan criticised what she described as “greenwashing” and rebuked some politicians’ use of the climate agenda to attract support without being fully appreciative of the scope of the problem.

“I think it is time for the governing parties to realise that they cannot pay lip service about the issue of greenhouse gas emission or loss of species anymore,” she said.

She said that the public’s support of environmental policies is going to force those politicians to “understand” environmental issues and work with the Green Party to push for change.

“I have met candidates running for other parties who were talking about plastic pollution, but they didn’t really understand what they were talking about,” she said.

“Now they are going to realise that they have to know what they are talking about.”

Count in Cork Photo: Shamim Malekmian

Cork Council going green

Ms O’Sullivan was speaking from Cork where tallies indicate a shift in public attitude toward eco-friendly policies that look set to colour the city council green.

Young politician Lorna Bogue, together with Collette Finn and former TD Dan Boyle have secured a seat while running mate Oliver Moran is also holding a strong position in the race for one of the remaining seats.

Speaking to The Green News, Ms Bogue, who gained 2,207 first preference votes, said that opening up the Council’s meeting to the public is her number one priority.

“I think the council’s meetings need to be live streamed and open to the public,” she said.

Ms Bogue added that urban tree felling is also at the top of her list and that she will advocate for strict tree preservation policies across Cork.

The Green’s rise in Cork has particularly impacted Sinn Féin’s vote in the rebel city with the party set to see a significant nine per cent drop in support from 2014.  

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Categories: News

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.